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LOON BABY by Molly Beth Griffin

LOON BABY

By Molly Beth Griffin (Author) , Anne Hunter (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-547-25487-6
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

When Baby Loon’s mother fails to return, he faces a frightening experience. Baby and Mama Loon live in a soft, warm nest on a small lake in the great north woods. One day Mama submerges to find dinner since Baby can’t dive yet. As he waits, Baby paddles and floats, but soon he’s worried. Mama’s never been gone so long. Determined to find her, Baby puts his head under the water and flip-kicks his feet, making wee dives. When it starts raining, Baby realizes he’s “tired and hungry, cold and wet and lonely, and lost,” and emits a “sinking, giving-up cry.” Suddenly a familiar head surfaces with Baby’s dinner in her beak, and a relieved Baby shows off his new kick-flip all the way home. The simple text tracks Baby’s progression from waiting to worrying to fear to anguish while loosely rendered watercolors in blues, greens and grays textured with pen-and-ink cross-hatch visually follow Baby’s descent into despair. Close-ups show worried Baby repeatedly dipping underwater, his web feet kick-flipping as he frantically searches. Aerial views emphasize Baby’s solitary state as his tiny form paddles alone. In one double-page spread, a stunned Baby bobs amid choppy waves, and in another, a drenched, agonized Baby wails. Guaranteed to hit the mark with anyone who’s ever felt lost and alone. (Picture book. 4-8)