A bird, cat, dog and fish take turns inviting Baby (who looks more like a toddler) to “come away.”
Each creature wants Baby to participate in its favorite activities—both real and slightly fantastical. Bird chirps, “Let’s fly up high / To my nest / In the sky / Where the green leaves rustle / And the clouds drift by,” whereas Fish promises, “We’ll dance in a ring / In the deep, deep sea / With a toe tap, finger snap, circle on the sand. / An octopus will take your hand.” Adler’s rhyming text includes opportunities for young ones to pretend to munch a worm, sip some milk, chew a bone and twirl in the sea. Unfortunately the cadence occasionally misses a beat. Walker, however, ably keeps pace with Baby’s adventures and provides colorful depictions of the playful action with just the right amount of detail for the very young to enjoy. Every animal has a welcome smile and delights in Baby’s company. But at the end of the day mother is ready with open arms for Baby to “Come back to me.” She scoops up her weary one and puts Baby to bed. The final spread shows bird, cat, dog and fish keeping watch over their dear playmate.
Sweet but not stellar—stick with Adler’s earlier success, All of Baby, Nose to Toes, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata (2009). (Picture book. 2-4)