Baby Says

John Steptoe, Author
John Steptoe, Author Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Books $15 (25p) ISBN 978-0-688-07423-4
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
After the elaborate illustrations and intricate story-telling of Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, Steptoe's latest is remarkably simple. The baby of the title speaks with actionsflinging a bear out of the playpen is a nonverbal way of getting an older brother's attention. The child is persistent and soon manages to escape from the pen, with help from the increasingly irritated brother. But the baby continues to make trouble, knocking down the brother's building block project. All is forgiven, though, thanks to the baby's winsome smile. The text is minimal, all ""Uh-oh,'' ``Okay,'' ``No no,'' etc. Despite Steptoe's sensitivity to issues of importance to children, this particular concept, hardly more than a sweet moment between siblings, seems stretched to fit a full-size picture book length. A board book format (and price) may have suited the idea more aptly. Ages 6 months-2 years. (April)
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