From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2-While the grown-ups are immersed in pie eating and other outdoor carnival festivities, their babies crawl away. The only one to observe this phenomenon is a toddler in a fireman's hat who follows them and saves them from such disasters as bat caves, cliff-hanging, and hunger, along the way shouting very responsible warnings and imprecations to "behave." When he brings them safely home, he is, of course, a hero. In the penultimate spread, it transpires that the tale is the boy's fantasy story retold by his loving mother just before he falls asleep. The babies and their adventures are rendered in stunning, sharply detailed, Pienkowski-like silhouette against a subtly changing backdrop that reflects the time of day. The boy's fireman's hat makes him easy to follow on each spread and also conveys his gallant status. This book has levels of complexity. Adults may be put off by the seeming parental neglect, but children will doubtless latch on to and enjoy the fact that the hero is a child, that none of the escapees seems in any real jeopardy, that the softly glowing pastel backgrounds lend a mood of unruffled calm, and that the story is, after all, fanciful. The verse doesn't always scan and occasionally does not rhyme, but oh those beguiling babies-they're irresistible!-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Old Greenwich, CT
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
PreS-Gr. 1. Caldecott Medal-winner Rathman tries something different here, but she isn't altogether successful. The exuberant text is directed to a young boy with the rescuing sensibility of Holden Caufield, who catches wandering babies: "Remember the way / You tried to save the day? / You hollered, "HEY! / You babies, Stay!" Alas, none of them do; instead they crawl off to chase bees and scramble onto a ledge. The fun is in the oversize pictures with silhouette images set against gloriously colored, subtly shaded backgrounds. These illustrations, reminiscent of the art in Jan Pienkowski's books about Christmas and Easter, may be difficult for little children to absorb. Not only must kids read details into the flat, black silhouettes, but they will also find that some objects are so small they are hard to discern. In addition, though the text is peppy, it can be difficult to read aloud. Is the book worth buying? Yes. The conceit is clever, the artwork is creative and lovely, and children with patience and imagination will find a bit more to see than they might find in a book with conventional art. Ilene CooperCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved