Catch That Baby!

Nancy Coffelt, illus. by Scott Nash. S&S/Aladdin, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4169-9148-9
Coffelt (Fred Stays with Me!) and Nash (Betsy Red Hoodie) make winning collaborators as they tell the story of Rudy, whose name provides a great rhyme as he tears off his clothes and races through the house after his bath ("Nudie Rudy!" he cries) and another when he finally emerges in clothes—pants on head, legs in his shirtsleeves, socks on hands. "Cutie Rudy!" he announces. Nash's large, comic book–style panels are embellished with go-fast lines, rakish shading, and wry side jokes (a box of food on the stove is labeled "Silage"). Coffelt's text, mostly a series of exclamations, combines the charm of the toddler who refuses to wear clothes with the love of a cheerful family consisting of mother, father, older siblings, a helpful dog, and even grandparents working in the greenhouse. Despite the central motif of gleeful nakedness, Rudy stays decent throughout, thanks to handy plants, legs, and well-placed dogs. Coffelt and Nash steer clear of treacle, but don't indulge in so much irony that readers can't feel the love, making this one a treat. Ages 4–8. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 256 pages - 978-1-4424-3509-4
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