cover image Darcy and Gran Don't Like Babies

Darcy and Gran Don't Like Babies

Jane Cutler. Scholastic, $14.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-590-44587-0

With skillfully understated humor and peppy dialogue, Cutler ( Family Dinner ; No Dogs Allowed ) gives an inventive, compassionate twist to a common situation. The opening lines, set underneath a picture of joyous parents playing with an infant, say it all: ``Darcy didn't like the baby.'' She doesn't care for his looks, nor for his smell, and she articulates her feelings to one and all. But everyone seems to have a rebuttal; her mother states that the baby is just like Darcy was a long time ago, and her father assumes that she will like her sibling better when he is older and can do more things. Only Gran has a comforting response: ``Me neither. . . . I never did like babies.'' On a visit to the playground (where none of the many babies present get in their way) the sage grandmother subtly helps Darcy sort out her ambivalence about babies in general--and about one interloper in particular. Reinforcing Cutler's convincing characterization is Ryan's (illustrator of You Don't Need Words! and Baby Songs ) endearing charcoal and watercolor art, which ably suggests the spunk that Darcy has clearly inherited from Gran. A winning choice for any child--even those without a baby to contend with. Ages 3-7. (Oct.)