Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE DAY THE BABIES CRAWLED AWAY by Peggy Rathmann Kirkus Star


by Peggy Rathmann & illustrated by Peggy Rathmann

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-399-23196-X
Publisher: Putnam

Caldecott Medalist Rathmann scores again with this rhymed tale of a child’s struggles to chaperone a wayward flock of errant babies, illustrated in vivacious, finely-cut silhouettes. With the parents distracted by a pie-eating contest, only a small lad in a firefighter’s helmet notices that five babies have crawled away from the picnic. Fruitlessly waving an admonitory finger, he follows as they clamber into a thick stand of trees, through a bog, into a cave, and over a cliff, collapsing at last for a nap in their exhausted pursuer’s lap before letting him lead them back to joyful reunions. Posed against brilliantly lambent skies, each opaque, realistically rendered figure, from babies to butterflies and blades of grass, stands out distinctly; even the youngest viewers will have no trouble keeping track of who’s up to what. Rathmann tucks in plenty of visual byplay and jokes, and brings the episode to a cozy close with the lad curled up in his own mother’s lap. At least as inventive and captivating as 10 Minutes Till Bedtime, this is bound to be a similar hit with children. (Picture book. 5-8)