cover image The Wild, Wide Inside: A View from Mommy's Tummy!

The Wild, Wide Inside: A View from Mommy's Tummy!

Kate Feiffer, , illus. by Laura Huliska-Beith. . S&S/Wiseman, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-4099-9

Feiffer and Huliska-Beith's pregnancy comedy gets off to a slow start: the opening pages, devoted to all the baby's possible names, doesn't have much to do with what follows. But once they establish their hook, the book cruises along. Mom, whose tummy has reached are-we-there-yet proportions, has three standard answers to the story's interrogative refrain (“What's the baby doing?”): baby is eating, sleeping, or kicking. But the in utero protagonist provides the real answers—or at least answers that show the beginnings of a first-class imagination. Mom says that the baby is sleeping while she takes a shower, but the narrator, who has somehow obtained a bright yellow slicker, begs to differ. “I was on a boat in the ocean in a big storm. A big, HUGE, GIGANTIC rainstorm.” Though Huliska-Beith's (The Worst Best Friend ) artwork retains the comic surrealism of previous books, some may feel she's gone too cutesy—Baby's kewpieness could be dialed back. Still, the acrylic images' sculptural feel and neon colors are a good match for Feiffer's (Which Puppy? ) exuberance and may offer a welcome distraction from burgeoning displacement anxieties. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)