cover image The Boss Baby

The Boss Baby

Marla Frazee, S&S/Beach Lane, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-0167-9

In a perfect pick-me-up for both older siblings and bleary-eyed new parents, Frazee (All the World) hilariously parses their new status. The brilliant baby-as-boss metaphor drives the book from the start, as a baby strides in from his taxi, outfitted with a suit (complete with rear-end flap and pj-style "footies"), briefcase, and a permanent scowl. Caldecott Honoree Frazee milks this comparison for every possible laugh ("The funky thing was, he never, ever said a single word that made any sense at all"), and the baby's job perks include "the spa" (a bubble bath), "the executive gym" (he attempts a pull-up on a baby gym), and "drinks made to order, 24/7" (the baby sits at a red-checked table littered with bottles, demanding service with his finger in the air). Cartoon vignettes in pencil-streaked gouache hum with a funky, retro style seen in sleek furnishings and the '50s fashions of the accommodating but increasingly exhausted parents. Finally, when the baby's tantrums can't rouse them, he discovers a more effective management technique––"Ma-ma? Da-da?" Clever and empathetic, this book is an especially apropos choice for the baby shower circuit. Ages 4–8. (Aug.)