cover image Baby-O


Nancy White Carlstrom. Little Brown and Company, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-316-12851-3

A text infused with the rhythmic, intermittent syncopation of the Caribbean and paintings spilling over with exotic tropical colors contribute to the warmth that emanates from this endearing book. A West Indian family ``beats out'' its daily living in varying tempi as its members prepare their wares for market. ``Chickens running in the garden patch, / Running in the morning sun. / Try and catch. / Chuka Chuka / Chuka Chuka.'' As each of the relatives works at the various chores, Baby-O, the youngest, basks in every verse of the familial song. The phonetic harmonies continue through the day as a jitney--also named Baby-O--makes several stops to pick up Papa and his fish, Granny and her baskets, Pappy (grandfather) and the siblings with fresh produce. Carlstrom's ( Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? ) prose calls out for reading aloud, while Stevenson's ( Tubtime ; the Henry and Mudge series) lush pictures add a visual cadence to this joyously clamorous song. Ages 3-8. (Mar.)