Simon James, Author, Simon James, Illustrator . Candlewick $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-2507-8

Taking droll liberties, James (Little One Step ) offers a sly send-up of parents who hype their children as la crème de la crème of cleverness. During her pregnancy, Mrs. Brains reads aloud and plays music and language CDs to "the baby inside her tummy," and she turns up the television when the news comes on. The day after she and her husband bring Baby Brains home from the hospital, the newborn reads the paper, fixes the car and announces he wants to go to school. Within days the infant is enrolled in medical school, and word of his brilliance spreads. Accepting an invitation to help with a space mission, the baby blasts off into outer space. There, while taking his first space walk, the tot looks at the "vast starlit sky" above and below him and wails, "I want my mommy!" Back at home, the wee one gets a bath, a tickle and a song from his parents and settles into the coddled routine of a typical baby—"except... on weekends... when he still liked to help out at the local hospital." A final image of him performing surgery makes for the perfect visual punch line. James's watercolor-and-ink renderings of the diminutive hero's extraordinary feats put an uproarious spin on the understated text. Boastful parents who can laugh at themselves, as well as their cherished offspring, will find abundant chuckles in these pages. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 10/11/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-7636-3682-1
DVD-Audio - 32 pages - 978-0-7636-4024-8
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