cover image A Teeny, Tiny Baby

A Teeny, Tiny Baby

Amy Schwartz. Orchard Books (NY), $16.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-531-06818-2

Schwartz (Annabelle Swift, Kindergartner) presents the ups and downs of life with a new baby-and, with comic implausibility, allows the baby himself to narrate. He speaks frankly of his tyranny (``I know how to get anything I want''), his likes and dislikes (``I like to eat when the sun hasn't quite risen yet and then again when I decide to really get up... and then again when it's still and dark and me and Mom are the only ones up. Except for Dad''). His pleasure in being the center of attention percolates throughout his low-key but highly amusing recitation. Less overtly stated but just as palpable is the closeness within the baby's family and their joy at his arrival: their warmth and wonder spill over even to strangers (upon hearing that his young visitor is but two weeks old, the guard in the botanic garden comments, ``Ahhh, and already he's seen the forsythia''). Schwartz's pitch-perfect ear and her comedienne's timing find visual expression in her upbeat, inviting gouaches. With her vignettes of exhausted but proud parents, cooing admirers and, of course, the world-is-my-oyster infant, she paints an affectionate and very funny portrait of a newly expanded family, one sure to be appreciated and enthusiastically revisited. Ages 2-6. (Sept.)