Baby Band by Diane Jackson Hill
Ill. by Giuseppe Poli. New Frontier Publishing, 2017. ISBN
(Age: 3-5) Ukulele playing author Diane Jackson Hill's new picture book Baby Band celebrates the power of music, its ability to create moods and emotions and bring a community together. Giuseppe Poli's charming pen, ink and watercolour illustrations support the emotional tones of the simple text.
In an apartment block, the residents live separate lives; they never interact, share a meal or notice each other's activities. On the front endpapers, each one engages with the park musicians, singers and dancers individually, while a pregnant mother rests alone on a bench. Everything changes when the baby arrives in apartment 8A, this little one cries all the time, day and night. Mum tries everything to stop the loud wailing, to no avail. Everyone on level 8 is annoyed and nobody stops by to help. Time passes and the little boy discovers the pots and pans, he laughs as he clangs the lid and saucepan together. His noises cause the grandma next door to scream, the teenager in 8C to dance and stomp and slowly through the apartments, the music brings the place to life. Doors are flung open and everyone hoots and hustles their way to the rooftop. Where did the baby go? Is he somewhere safe and quiet? The final endpapers show everyone singing, dancing and celebrating the joy of music together at the park bandstand.
Baby Band is a pleasing story, one that looks at the importance of music in people's lives, as it brings a community together, celebrating diversity and making the world a better place.