cover image The Baby That Roared

The Baby That Roared

Simon Puttock, illus. by Nadia Shireen. Candlewick/Nosy Crow, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5903-5

Part of the charm of this mischievous story from Puttock (Little Lost Cowboy) is that readers know more than the main characters, a childless deer couple that don’t know how to deal with the baby they find on their doorstep. Mr. and Mrs. Deer can’t understand why the baby—which has blue fur, a pair of taped-on antlers, and a lot of teeth—keeps roaring. Their friends try to help, but disappear whenever they are left alone with the baby (“How very peculiar!” say the deer). Shireen is a smart choice to illustrate, given the similarly wicked humor that propelled her Good Little Wolf (2011); her mixed-media art plays up both the baby’s maniacal tendencies and the other animals’ cluelessness. Characters such as Uncle Duncan (a purple owl) and Auntie Agnes (a blue rabbit) get prim accessories like a beret and scarf—accessories that are all that remain of said characters until the baby burps them up and runs off. The repetitive structure and subversive humor should make this a storytime favorite. Ages 3–up. Agent: Jodie Marsh, United Agents. Illustrator’s agent: Penny Holroyde, the Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency. (July)