cover image Baby, Come Away

Baby, Come Away

Victoria Adler, illus. by David Walker. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-30480-5

In this bedtime fantasy, a toddler responds to invitations from various animals to “come away” with them. Adler’s (All of Baby, Nose to Toes) story unfolds in four episodes—as the toddler plays with a bird, cat, dog, and fish—followed by a coda in which the boy’s mother tucks him into bed. Each outing opens with a “Baby, come away,” greeting, joined by verse that plays around within the fairly complex metric structure that Adler sets up, with varying success. The staccato rhymes pull readers through the story (“Let’s run in the sun/ Past the garden patch./ I’ll throw you a twig/ And we’ll play catch/ With a skip and a jump/ And a tumble all around”), but variations also create lines that readers may trip over (“With a bird suit, feather cap, stocking on your legs,/ You’ll warm my eggs/ And we’ll have tea/ In our tip-top tree”). Walker’s (Baby Says “Moo!”) round-headed toddler and friendly, dot-eyed animals populate smudgy and warm scenes that capture the boy’s body language and the welcoming nature of the worlds he explores. Ages 1–4. (Nov.)