cover image B Is for Baby

B Is for Baby

Atinuke, illus. by Angela Brooksbank. Candlewick, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-

As they did in Baby Goes to Market, Atinuke and Brooksbank include readers in the book’s antics while leaving out the characters who surround Baby. Pictures tell the story alongside minimal text that introduces B words (baby, beads, basket). After Baby tumbles into a basket of bananas bound for Baba’s bungalow, Brother, plugged into his headphones, replaces the basket’s cover and loads it onto his bicycle, oblivious to its additional cargo. Subtle visual foreshadowing gives kids a peek at upcoming words as the boy pedals along: one of the birds seen perched in a baobab tree appears at close range on the following spread (“B is for Beautiful”), which also displays a baboon-filled tree in the background (“B is for Baboon”). A page later, one of the monkeys snags the top off the basket, exposing its stowaway passenger and paving the way for the big reveal to a shocked Brother and thrilled Baba. Featuring loose lines and an earth-toned backdrop, Brooksbank’s energetic mixed-media art showcases the brilliant colors of African vegetation and clothing, and infuses Atinuke’s sweet phrases with warmth and humor. Ages 3–7. [em](Mar.) [/em]