cover image  Beb Goes Shopping

Beb Goes Shopping

Susan Middleton Elya, , illus. by Steven Salerno. . Harcourt, $16 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-15-205426-7

Any parent who's attempted to grocery shop with a toddler in tow knows what an impossible task that can be. Elya (Oh No, Gotta Go! ) demonstrates what happens when a sensory-packed excursion gets the best of baby. Her rhyming bilingual text demonstrates a skilled storyteller who is clearly comfortable with both languages ("[Bebé] tugs on a carton with muchos colores / in butterfly yellow, with pink and white flores "). Much like the author, Bebé's mother, too, can multitask; she juggles her shopping list while keeping a watchful eye on Bebé. Salerno (Coco the Carrot ) packs the supermercado (grocery store) with such fiesta-bright hues, cartons and canned goods, it's no wonder Bebé can hardly keep his hands to himself. Mamá's attempts to cajole him—and buy herself a little time to complete her shopping—with a box of animal crackers will resonate with adults. Here the pairing of text and art, which seemed ideally suited all along, hits its finest moment: the animal-shaped treats loom large as they outshine the groceries (and, in particular, Mamá at the melon stand) in both size and attraction ("Bebé finds a camel—a humpy sopresa !/ Mamá picks a good one. He eats the cabeza "). This delightful tale turns an everyday chore into a lively adventure, brimming with entertainment and enjoyment for all. Ages 2-5. (Apr.)