Babyberry Pie

Heather Vogel Frederick, illus. by Amy Schwartz, Harcourt, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-15-205927-9
Reminiscent of Bruce Degen's Jamberry with its lilting rhythm and gentle illustrations, this amiable bedtime book ostensibly gives a recipe for making babyberry pie, but ends up modeling a loving family's bedtime ritual. The book opens as a father pushes a baby in a backyard swing and the mother welcomes them inside: "First you pick a baby/ From the babyberry tree—/ One who's sweet,/ A cuddly treat—/ And bring him home to me." Schwartz (Tiny and Hercules) and novelist Frederick (the Mother-Daughter Book Club series), making her picture book debut, show the loving parents bathing the baby ("Scrub his toes,/ His ears and nose,/ With a kiss and a rub-a-dub-dub!"). When the baby makes a dash for freedom ("Catch that little giggle- berry, wiggleberry one!") and tips a freshly made pie off the windowsill, his parents cheerfully give him another bath and tuck him in. Schwartz's cozy patterned wallpaper and fabrics lend a homey mood to the illustrations, rendered in gouache and pen-and-ink, and Frederick's verbal imagery of piecrust quilts and sugary baby powder help create a book as sweet as pie. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/11/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
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