cover image Where’s Baby?

Where’s Baby?

Anne Hunter. Tundra, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7352-6498-4

“Have you seen Baby, Mama Fox?” Thus begins a search (and a sly introduction to prepositions) that leads Papa Fox to search up in a tree, inside a log, over a hill, down a hole, under some water, and around the bend, encountering a number of un-foxlike creatures, some of them more polite than others. ( “I am not your baby. Go away!” answers a grumpy skunk, and an affable ox responds, “I am not your baby. I’m Davy!”) Hunter’s simple but lively pen and colored pencil drawings allow the deadpan humor to ring out—all the characters, save one, are rendered in scratchy black and white atop a delicate blue sky, and the entire dialogue is delivered via hand-lettered speech bubbles. A small orange character hides just out of the searching animal’s sight throughout the spreads until Papa Fox checks an obvious spot at Mama’s behest—attentive readers will spot early on that Mama Fox is in on the game. The dramatic irony paired with Papa’s earnest calls of “Ba-by!” make this a winner for interactive reading, and Baby’s final request, “Can we do that again?” will ensure this fun and gently instructive story is repeated. Ages 3–7. [em](Jan.) [/em]