Monday, July 23, 2007

Who Are You, Baby Kangaroo?

stella blackstone children's book review who are you baby kangaroo barefoot booksWho Are You, Baby Kangaroo?
written by Stella Blackstone
illustrations by Clare Beaton.

I borrowed this book from the library for 2 reasons - viz., Stella Blackstone's My Granny Went to Market was a big hit at home, and, it is published by Barefoot Books.

A little puppy wants to know what a baby kangaroo is called. When he asks him, the baby kangaroo says I am not going to tell you, you'll have to ask... and sends him off to wolf cubs to find out, who send him off to cygnets and so on... where the little puppy meets various other baby animals asking,
cygnets, cygnets, can you give me a clue?
can you tell me the name of the baby kangaroo?

and then, eventually, he circles back to the mommy kangaroo who reveals... joey!

Good things first...
  • Clare Beaton's appliqué style art work in this book. Each page has a lot of elements, including the puppy, whose muzzle, or behind, is all you see sometimes... Ana likes to point out the puppy in each page

  • Introduces baby animals - cygnets, moose calves, tadpoles, penguin chicks, zebra foals- I didn't know about cygnets and joey until I was in middle school, when it started nagging me that baby animals have special names - what about baby humans? they are stuck with "boy" or "girl" or "baby" until it is too awkward to call them that... (unless you are my mom, of course)

  • The element of repetition, which is they key to success in many children's board books: "_baby-animal_, "_baby-animal_, can you give me a clue? can you tell me the name of the baby kangaroo?" Insert any _baby-animal_ name you like and this rhyme works great...

  • Like the classic Brown Bear book, sets up a certain level of prediction skills - after a few reads, kids can tell what baby animal is in the next page

  • The last few pages explain about baby animals which is great for 7-8 year olds to read alone and comprehend

My only reluctant protest is that the rhymes could have been better with a little more work - the beginning and ending were a mouthful, and not very kid-friendly.

I think I was looking for the magic that My Granny Went To Market brought, but, this book didn't have it.

It is a wonderful book on its own, nevertheless. And the sheer elation with which Ana squeals "joveee!" at the end makes this book a hit in our house. (And yes, that's when I realized diphthongs and triphthong are not easy for 2 year olds).


Praba Ram said...

that's an irresistible one!

Cygnet - yup! can relate to the not-knowing-until-middle-school story!

Jovee - cute Ana anecdote! :-)

Anusha said...

sounds like a fun book - on my list! so this is done with appliqué -meaning it is a touch and feel book?

Sheela said...

kodi's mom - not exactly - it is still a print book - but, like There's a Cow In The Cabbage Patch book or one of the Rebus style Nursery Rhymes book (forget the author's name, was it Priddy?), the artwork is appliqué but the book presents a print/picture of it - am i making sense?

Anusha said...

yes, I think so ! I have seen other books like that - just dón't recall their names. I will certainly check if my library carries it.

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