Take one proud big sister, mix in the love of all the grannies in town and a baby beauty contest, and you have the fixings for a jolly read-aloud.
Related in irresistible rhyme, this Scottish import tells the tale of one blond, peach-skinned baby whose big sister enters him in a contest. And what a sweetie he is! “ ‘No time to lose!’ I shout to Mum. / ‘There’s a trophy to be won! / Let’s get our baby home and in the bath!’ ” Unfortunately, though his family prepares him for the big event, the world has other plans. The bus breaks down, it begins to “bucket down with rain,” the streetlights refuse to let them cross the street, and the bus splashes water on the tot, who is now “the dirtiest baby in Dundee!” The baby makes it worse by blowing a raspberry at the judge! But even though three other babies win ribbons before the treasured child, he does get his fourth-place ribbon, and all is well. Energetic watercolor-and-collage illustrations appropriately depict a multiethnic Dundee and reflect the exuberant verse, which is straight from the mouth of the proud big sister. Occasional Scottish words (“cheeky,” “bairn,” “claggie,” “wee,” and more) add to the fun. While American readers might not be familiar with these words, each is easy to decode and understand in context or from looking at the pictures. The rhyme begs to be read aloud—with or without a bonny Scottish accent.
He truly might be the bonniest baby in Dundee, or in any town. (Picture book. 2-8)