cover image Waaa Waaa Goes Táwà

Waaa Waaa Goes Táwà

Àlàbá Ònájìn. Random House Studio, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-64407-2

Young Táwà knows what she wants, and when she doesn’t get her way, she lets loose a wail that moves sofas, pops balloons, and sends animals fleeing. Page turns take readers through scenarios in which the child communicates with a “Waaa Waaa,” including a visit to the market that Táwà insists on joining, and a stop at a toy cart where the toy seller gives her a doll to end a tantrum. Ònájìn expresses the dominating force of Táwà’s cries, which fling people back and topple fruit baskets like hurricane-level winds. But as the day comes to a close, Táwà’s tantrums begin to wear on her family and the rest of the neighborhood, too. When the child’s bedtime cries interrupt the evening’s rest, Grandpa, Mama, and Papa all begin to cry, their pet dog joins the fray with a mournful “Aaaaooooo,” and neighbors’ homes emit sorrowful noises. In a comic turnabout, Táwà shifts to caregiver, comforting and quieting the family before drifting off to sleep. Larger-than-life, multi-patterned illustrations express the emotional toll of a child’s endless tears in a debut picture book that offers moments of levity and comfort to both caregivers and children. Characters are portrayed with brown skin, and visual context clues seem to indicate a Nigerian setting. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)