cover image Edwin Speaks Up

Edwin Speaks Up

April Stevens, illus. by Sophie Blackall. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-85337-1

Baby Edwin speaks up a lot, but nobody understands him. "Figbutton noo noo POCKY BOOKY froppin ROOF," he says to his mother who has left her purse on top of the car. "Gloody pooper do no LEAVEY," he shouts as his mother takes off with the wrong grocery cart, leaving him behind. There's a lot of frenetic action in this story about the ferret family's trip to the grocery store%E2%80%94the misbehaving antics of Edwin's four whiny brothers and sisters generate some truly anxiety-inducing scenes. Mrs. Finnemore, however, is June Cleaver serene throughout, even as her children knock over canned goods, wrestle in the store aisles, and quarrel over everything%E2%80%94while Edwin obviously knows exactly what's going on. Blackall's (Pecan Pie Baby) stylish illustrations feature 1950s slick cars and ballooning dresses, but what will make Stevens's (Waking Up Wendell) text a read-aloud favorite is Edwin's babbling%E2%80%94a humorous blend of nonsensical toddler talk and new words. Mrs. Finnemore says, "Soon he'll be talking. Can you even imagine that?" but readers will know that Edwin has been all along. Ages 4%E2%80%938. (June)