WHAT DOES BABY WANT? by Tupera  Tupera
Kirkus Star

WHAT DOES BABY WANT?

written and illustrated by
Age Range: 0 - 1
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This Japanese import presents a baby’s emotional journey from fussy to satisfied on round board-book pages.

In extreme close-up, a slightly distressed white baby’s face, drawn with cartoon simplicity, fills the recto page. The text on verso narrates, “Hello baby! You look like you want something.” Other round items are presented on recto on subsequent pages: a teddy bear, a ball, a tambourine. These items distract momentarily but ultimately only increase the little one’s distress, and the child’s visage grows redder as more tears flow. Finally, the narrator (likely the child’s mother) admits, “Now I know what you want….” The next page reveals two large, round, white breasts, nipples in the geometric centers, which the baby promptly suckles. The final spread reveals a sleeping, contented infant and is paired with the text: “And now you want to sleep. Sweet dreams, baby!” Tupera’s images, created with simple shapes and a mix of bold and muted colors, are iconic and accessible. While the innovative, round shape is perfect for the content, the binding won’t hold up to robust exploration, suiting it best for home libraries. Some adults may be surprised by the nudity, but it is completely developmentally appropriate and fits with the pro–breast-feeding message most doctors advocate.

All-around brilliant. (Board book. 0-1)

Pub Date: June 26th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-7148-7407-4
Page count: 22pp
Publisher: Phaidon
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2017




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