Review Blog

Nov 07 2012

101 things to do with baby by Jan Ormerod

cover image

Little Hare, 2012. ISBN 978 1 921894 11 4.
(Ages 3+) Recommended. Picture book. Babies.In Ormerod's distinctive style, this book is totally devoted to a family and its involvement with the new baby in their midst. From the opening picture of Mum breastfeeding her baby, snuggled up with the baby's older sister alongside the pair in bed, reading, the pictures glow with family togetherness and warmth. Each page has a different arrangement of pictures showing a different thing to do with the baby, all following a count from 1 to 101. Each page shows a different time of the day from the early morning, to bathing the baby with Dad, to dressing and playing, hanging out the washing with Mum, then an afternoon nap. After this the family goes on a picnic, sees flowers and animals, then another baby, then home for the evening activities before a kiss goodnight and bed.
Both parents are heavily involved in caring for the baby, as it the older child and the Grandmother. Each has a part to play in being responsible for the baby and its care is in their hands.
The illustrations in soft muted colours adorn each page, telling the story of the baby's first few months. The illustrations sweep across the page in framed blocks, sometimes frameless, sometimes four or more adorn the page sometimes fewer, but each page is a delight, drawing the eye across the almost comic strip style of pictures, making the reader laugh with recognition and feelings of tenderness.
In a classroom this book would be a wonderful part of any unit about families and family life, about babies and the beginnings of talking about the body, about the impact of a child upon a family. The style of this particular book too, would make a wonderful model for classes to take up when looking at a finishing activity for a unit of work on families, using the numbering system to create a class booklet emulating this style.
Fran Knight

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