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"More More More," Said the Baby (A Caldecott Honor book) Paperback – April 25, 1996

115 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

From beneath the tickles, kisses, and unfettered affection showered on them by grownups, the children in Vera B. Williams' Caldecott Honor Book cry out for "more more more!" The stars of three little love stories--toddlers with nicknames like "Little Pumpkin"--run giggling until they are scooped up by adoring adults to be swung around, kissed, and finally tucked into bed. Quirky watercolor drawings and colorful text feature multiethnic families, and young readers will rejoice in seeing the center of all the attention: the wiggly, chubby, irresistible toddlers. (Baby to preschooler) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

The spontaneity and delight of play is captured perfectly in this trio of multigenerational, multiracial "love stories" about three pairs of babies and their grown-ups. Told in a natural, colloquial tone, the simple, engaging text is finely honed with a rhythm that is musical. The style is as buoyant and infectious as the actions described: "Little Guy's daddy has to run like anything just to catch that baby up." Williams carries the same basic framework and language through each story, generating the repetition that is so satisfying to very young listeners, while the stories and characters maintain their own distinctions. Just as she celebrates universality within the text, Williams presents diversity with characteristic flair within her illustrations. Little Guy and his father are white, Little Pumpkin is African-American and her grandmother is white, and Little Bird and her mother are both Asian-American. Natural and unforced, Williams' choices are an accurate reflection of American society, but are noteworthy in their representation in books for this age group. Uncluttered, yet filled with movement, the splashy, vibrant paintings in gouache feature vigorous portraits and large, clearly defined objects set against a textured expanse of sweeping brushstrokes. The text appears in rainbow-hued letters within the illustrations, adding to the appealing design. Although it is a fine vehicle for toddler storytimes, the real strength of this book lies in the intimacy achieved when it is shared one-on-one between babies and adults or older siblings. A joyous expression of verbal and physical affection, these are truly love stories for our times. More, more, more . . . --Starr LaTronica, North Berkeley Lib . , CA
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Series: A Caldecott Honor book
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (April 25, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688147364
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688147365
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Vera B. Williams lives in New York City.

In Her Own Words..."Throughout my childhood I was encouraged to make pictures, tell stories, act, and dance--all of this at a heaven in our New York City neighborhood called the Bronx House.

"Saturdays I painted with a crusading art director, Florence Cane. In her book The Growth of the Child Through Art, I appear under the name Linda. I was sixteen when the book appeared and embarrassed by it. But at age nine I had been totally proud when a painting of mine was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art and I was later shown in the Movietone News explaining to Eleanor Roosevelt its Yiddish title, "Yentas."

"In 1945 I went to Black Mountain College in North Carolina, a unique educational community. I graduated in 1949 in graphic art, which I studied with Josef Albers. Along the way I planted corn, made butter, worked on the printing press, and helped to build the house in which I lived with Paul Williams, a fellow student I married there.

"I wanted that connection of art and community to continue. And it did at the Gate Hill Cooperative, a community we built with other Black Mountain people, a poet, musicians, and potters. I lived and worked there from 1953-1970 (after which I moved to Canada). My children (Sarah, Jenny, Merce) grew up there. For them, we branched out into a school, part of the Surnmerhill movement. The gingerbread houses that led to my first book for Greenwillow I first made in sticky variety at our school. I have always liked to teach and have taught art, cooking, writing, nature study, for nursery age on.

"At forty-six, no longer married, living in a houseboat on the bay at Vancouver, British Columbia, I did my first book. But before that could happen, the fates decreed a stint of cooking and running a bakery at a small school in the Ontario countryside. My love affair with Canada included also a 500-mile trip on the Yukon River. Many of those adventures I put in Three Days on a River in a Red Canoe.

"I also write and draw for adults-short stories, leaflets, and posters. As a lover of children, I try to do what I can to help save their earth from nuclear disaster. This pursuit, too, has added its excitement to my biography, including, in 1981, a month's stay in the federal penitentiary in Alderson, West Virginia (an outcome of a women's peaceful blockade of the Pentagon). Perhaps this experience will some day appear in one of my books. So far I've found children's books a wonderfully accommodating medium where any of my various activities might pop up."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 63 people found the following review helpful By scducharme on November 19, 2001
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I'm torn between what I think of the book and what my daughter thinks. She's 17 months old and wants to read this book daily. I, like other reviewers, found the text a bit awkward at first. Now that I've read it aloud about a million times and added my own twists and actions to accompany the story (kisses on the tummy, toes, eyes) I'm getting lulled into liking the book too. I LOVE that the white grandmother has a black grandbaby and that the daddy is a super dad and that there is an asian mother and daughter. The illustrations don't grab me because they have kind of a messy look, but they obviously grab my girl, because she just stares and stares at each page. So...take what you will from this review. For the amount of fun it's given us, despite my initial misgivings, I think it's worth a try. In fact, I'm buying it for a friend's baby for xmas.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Kara Reuter on September 14, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In three separate vignettes, three toddlers are chased, hugged, tickled, cuddled, kissed, and tucked into bed by parents or grandparents until they beg for "more more more." The active physicality of the characters is matched with colloquial, rhythmic language - "Little Pumpkin scoots away so fast Little Pumpkin's grandma has to run like anything just to catch that baby up. But Little Pumpkin's grandma catches that baby up all right." The book is oversized (10"x11") and illustrated with bright and colorful gouache paintings. Each illustration is framed with a colorful border that bleeds to the edge of the page and the text itself is mottled with color. The backgrounds of the illustrations are mostly flat planes of color, putting the focus on the interaction between the children and adults. The three adult-child relationships portrayed represent a racially diverse selection of families, notably including an apparently multiracial child. The story does not necessarily make a subject of ethnicity, however the repetition of many elements among the stories does demonstrate the universality of the affection and tenderness that parents and grandchildren have for their children, perhaps subtly suggesting that this commonality supersedes any superficial difference based on race. The rhythmic language makes this a superb read-aloud book for toddlers and older children of any ethnic makeup. With the final vignette focusing on a sleepy toddler being put to bed, this is also appropriate bedtime or naptime reading.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By R. D. Allison ( on June 1, 1999
Format: Board book
This short book for preschoolers depicts three babys who are playing with, respectively, a father, a grandmother, and a mother. It is simply a story of the love of children. Interestingly, the second child is African-American but the grandmother appears not to be so. This is the first Caldecott book I've seen suggesting the existence of interracial families. If I'm correct, I readily applaud the author. But, even if I'm wrong, it is still a beautiful book of love. The book was a 1991 Caldecott Honor book (i.e., a runner up to the Medal winner) for best illustrations in a book for children.
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Format: Board book
I've had this book for years, but only just now started reading it to my baby.

Looking at the lush painted illustrations from a fresh perspective, I am amazed again at Williams' diversity of characters, as shown not just by the variety of ethnicities that other reviewers have mentioned, but economic and other types of diversity as well.

The daddy, for example, in Little Guy's love story, is white but wears shorts and thong sandals on his feet instead of the basic black daddy footwear of most books. Is he unemployed, having a day off, or perhaps a stay-at-home dad?

In Little Pumpkin's story, not only is the grandmother of this black baby rather white, she's also rather young - at least, young enough to still have blonde hair. And is she babysitting, or - like many grandmas these days - actually raising Little Pumpkin?

Finally, I love the illustrations that accompany the Little Bird story because as the baby sleeps, the mother is converting a sofa/daybed to a cozy sleeping place for the baby. Not every baby has her own bedroom, and not every family can afford a crib or toddler bed.

It amazes me every time I read the story that Little Bird is no less loved than a baby with a more elaborate nursery. These may seem like little things, but I believe even babies look for themselves in the stories we read to them. In More More More, my baby - who has no nursery of her own - will see the kind of unconditional love that transcends ethnic or economic stereotypes.

The tone of this book is soothing, though the lilting words and some phrases were a little odd for me at first ("little guy's father has to run so hard just to catch that baby up").
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ulyyf on January 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
I got her this book a week ago, she was immediately enthralled. Had to bring the book with her during her nap, had to sit with it and "read" it for hours (she's not yet 20 months, so this is impressive). This might, however, be less from the fact that it's a special book than from the fact that it's the first non-board book she's been allowed to hold.

I don't find the text hard to read, nor do I think the phrase "catch that (note spelling) baby up" is especially nonstandard. Even if I did, I think that hearing standard grammar from her family all the time is much more likely to influence how she speaks than hearing one phrase from a book a few times.

As far as the interracial family is concerned, she was thrilled and yelled "mommy" when she first saw it (her dad is black, but my sister is white). I doubt that this would confuse her even if her parents weren't an interracial couple - after all, parents often don't look like their children, and kids are smarter than many parents give them credit for.

Edit: Three years later, and an amusing anecdote to prove my point. My niece (now my *older* niece) was sitting for lunch with me, a black friend, and a white, blonde, very fair-skinned acquaintance. The acquaintance had come with her nanny, a black woman, and wanted to share our lunch. First the black friend (four years old at the time, but almost five) told her to "ask her mommy" (pointing to the nanny), then the acquaintance said "Oh, that's not my mom, that's my babysitter. You can tell she's not my mom because" (and this is the part that made me laugh very quietly into my sandwich) "because my mommy has BROWN hair and she has BLACK hair".
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