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B IS FOR BABY by Myra Cohn Livingston


by Myra Cohn Livingston & photographed by Steel Stillman

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1996
ISBN: 0-689-80950-6
Publisher: McElderry

A photograph album of ordinary verses about extraordinary babies by a poet (Festivals, p. 456, etc.) who has written more portentous works, but perhaps not such personal ones. Arranged alphabetically, most of the verses use the designated letter to describe the baby in an activity pictured, e.g., B for ``Bathtub-Baby,'' K for ``Kicking-Baby,'' T for ``Throwing-Baby,'' etc. Some of the verses are unpolished—``Christmas-Baby'' ``falls asleep/and smiles to be/dreaming/of her Christmas tree''—while others are pedestrian —``glad to see/his mother's face,/glad to see/his special space,/glad to hear/his doggy bark,/glad he'll get to/see the park.'' The march through the alphabet can be a bit grim and determined, with V for baby's ``Vim and Vigor,'' X for the kisses a baby is trying to escape, and Y for older babies who know how to ``Yell.'' A few display humor and originality: ``Swinging-Baby'' is a poem that swings with the playground equipment and gives readers plenty of leeway for its recitation. The babies—in a multiracial array—are portrayed in inventive photographs that convey the children as strong individuals; when photo and poem mesh, the result can be quite winsome. (Picture book. 4-7)