Review Blog

Apr 08 2020

B is for baby by Atinuke

cover image

Illus. by Angela Brooksbank. Walker Books, 2020. ISBN: 9781406390872. 40pp.
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. With the letter B as its main spring, this seductively charming tale of a baby in a West African community sings with the sights and sounds of life in the village. The baby climbs into a basket of bananas, hiding from her brother as he gets onto his bicycle, en route to see his grandfather, Baba. The bumpy ride takes him past a baobab tree as he sees a number of things beginning with B: a butterfly, bird, bus and bridge amongst the sights. On reaching Baba, he reaches into the basket to get a banana and finds the baby!
All great fun as the baby and her brother are given biscuits by Baba and over the next two pages the B words are reiterated.
This is a wonderful read aloud: children will marvel at the words beginning with B in the village, and see the world in which the baby and her brother live. The African background is there for all to see: from the beads used to plait the baby's hair, the basket woven by Mum, the bananas picked from the garden, the baobab tree, baboons, bougainvillea, banana palms and Grandfather's bungalow.
Brooksbank is inspired by the playful spirit and energy of children and these characteristics are replicated in her illustrations in this book and her previous book, Baby goes to market (2017) her first picture book with Atunike. The colourful, lively illustrations portray life in the village as a vibrant, closely knit, family centred life, full of humour. Themes: Africa, Baby, Family, Alphabet, Humour.
Fran Knight

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