I Am a Baby by Bob Shea

I Am a Baby by Bob Shea. Candlewick Press, 2022. 9781536218329

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Humorous picture book

What did you like about the book? Sleepy parents and ambiguous siblings will love this hilarious take on how a baby affects the household. With circular logic, the tiny, smiling baby explains: “I am a baby and I am not sleepy. I am not sleepy because I am a baby.” Mommy is sleepy, daddy is grumbling, kitty is hiding, all because “I am a baby.” I especially liked the “Mommy is thirsty” pages, which show a discombobulated mommy pouring a glass of wine, because, obviously, “Mommy is thirsty because I am a baby.” And not all of the side effects of having a baby are negative. Grandma is smiley and everyone is indeed happy, despite the messy house and sleep-deprived parents.

Shea’s wonderful art (“The illustrations were done using red and blue pencils on inexpensive printer paper, then finished on a fancy tablet while sitting in a comfortable chair by a large window” has a retro vibe, and perfectly complements the deadpan humor. One gets the feeling that his knowledge of the subject is first hand His humor has the feel of a survival story, which is something the family of a new baby can appreciate.

This would be fun to read aloud, with encouragement for little ones joining is on the refrain of “because I am a baby.”

Even the endpapers are delightful. The front endpapers show panel scenes from the parents’ early years, including courtship, marriage, a new house and the delight of the pregnancy, while the back endpapers show baby’s growth from a smiling newborn to an impish toddler. This is the perfect read for a family reeling from the presence of a baby, and I think older siblings will love it as well.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  For families needing a dose of humor to get through the overwhelming days of a new baby, and children ages 3-6.

Who should buy this book? Daycare centers and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: June 9, 2022

This entry was posted in *Book Review, *Picture Book, *Starred Review, Babies, Bob Shea, Family, Sleep and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to I Am a Baby by Bob Shea

  1. susanh579 says:

    I really want to read this book now!

    Liked by 1 person

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