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This Is the Baby (Melanie Kroupa Books) Hardcover – August 12, 2004

5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2–Any parent who's ever wrestled a recalcitrant, wriggling child into his clothes will smile in sympathy with this patient and playful mother who decides to use lighthearted distraction as a means to get duds like "the sweater, itchy and hot/that covers the T-shirt,/wrinkled a lot/that snaps over the diaper,/often a mess,/…on[to] the baby/who hates to be dressed." And even though mom does seem to succeed, and even to coax the glimmer of a grin out of her grumpy little guy, you can just bet that he is determined not to stay dressed for long. "No! No! Nooo!" Smith's naive and rosy-cheeked characters, cozy textures, and crayon-box colors are a perfect accompaniment to Fleming's well-constructed, cumulative, "House That Jack-Built" patterned story that positively insists on reader interaction, whether one-on-one, when it's fun to hunt for the endpaper-pictured elements that appear throughout, or with a great big group, who will giggle and grin and surely join in the oh-so-familiar game (which would make for wonderful flannelboard fun, too). Add this pleasing piece to your accumulation of storytime tales.–Kathy Krasniewicz, Perrot Library, Old Greenwich, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS. Fleming and Smith show the professional wrestler in every mom in this picture-book dramatization of getting a toddler dressed. Baby disdains dressing in layers, but Mom is determined to top off the diaper with a "sweater, itchy and hot," "jeans, stiff in the knee," and "boots, pinchy and tight." While Fleming's text narrates the battle of wills to the rhythm of "The House That Jack Built," Smith's artwork shows Baby squirming and struggling, Mom chasing and cajoling, and exasperated expressions all around. The familiar cumulative structure makes this a snap to read aloud, and kids will delight in repeatedly shouting out "No! No! Nooo!" along with intractable Baby. Smith's gum-drop-hued paintings infuse the tussling with tenderness as the stylized, rosy-cheeked characters negotiate the familiar domestic struggle. The twist ending will leave children and parents alike chuckling in recognition: off comes the hard-won outfit, leaving Baby to streak "free and undressed . . . Yes! Yes! Yes!" A fine companion to Margaret Chodos-Irvine's 2004 Caldecott Honor Book Ella Sarah Gets Dressed. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Series: Melanie Kroupa Books
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st edition (August 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374374864
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374374860
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #992,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I have always been a storyteller. Even before I could write my name, I could tell a good tale. And I told them all the time. As a preschooler, I told my neighbors all about my three-legged cat named Spot. In kindergarten, I told my classmates about the ghost that lived in my attic. And in first grade I told my teacher, Miss Harbart, all about my family's trip to Paris, France.

I told such a good story that people always thought I was telling the truth. But I wasn't. I didn't have a three-legged cat or a ghost in my attic, and I'd certainly never been to Paris, France. I simply enjoyed telling a good story... and seeing my listener's reaction.

Sure, some people might have said I was a seven-year old fibber. But not my parents. Instead of calling my stories "fibs" they called them "imaginative." They encouraged me to put my stories down on paper. I did. And amazingly, once I began writing, I couldn't stop. I filled notebook after notebook with stories, poems, plays. I still have many of those notebooks. They're precious to me because they are a record of my writing life from elementary school on.

In second grade, I discovered a passion for language. I can still remember the day my teacher, Miss Johnson, held up a horn-shaped basket filled with papier-mache pumpkins and asked the class to repeat the word "cornucopia." I said it again and again, tasted the word on my lips. I tested it on my ears. That afternoon, I skipped all the way home from school chanting, "Cornucopia! Cornucopia!" From then on, I really began listening to words--to the sounds they made, and the way they were used, and how they made me feel. I longed to put them together in ways that were beautiful, and yet told a story.

As I grew, I continued to write stories. But I never really thought of becoming an author. Instead, I went to college where I discovered yet another passion--history. I didn't realize it then, but studying history is really just an extension of my love of stories. After all, some of the best stories are true ones -- tales of heroism and villainy made more incredible by the fact they really happened.

After graduation, I got married and had children. I read to them a lot, and that's when I discovered the joy and music of children's books. I simply couldn't get enough of them. With my two sons in tow, I made endless trips to the library. I read stacks of books. I found myself begging, "Just one more, pleeeeease!" while my boys begged for lights-out and sleep. Then it struck me. Why not write children's books? It seemed the perfect way to combine all the things I loved: stories, musical language, history, and reading. I couldn't wait to get started.

But writing children's books is harder than it looks. For three years I wrote story after story. I sent them to publisher after publisher. And I received rejection letter after rejection letter. Still, I didn't give up. I kept trying until finally one of my stories was pulled from the slush pile and turned into a book. My career as a children's author had begun.

For more information visit my website:

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The reviews above indicate that the technical name for the book's rhyming format is a "cumulative poem." As a mother layers dresses her tiny toddler daughter in cold weather clothes, each preceding layer is included in succeeding rhymes (as done in the poem, "This is the House That Jack Built.)"

Starting with the declarative "THIS IS THE BABY who hates to be dressed," an incredibly patient mother battles an uncooperative child and a well-meaning but obstructive dog on each page. Just four layers in, and the rhyme has recursively built itself into the following:

These are the jeans, stiff in the knee,

that match the sweater, itchy and hot,

that covers the T-shirt, wrinkled a lot,

that snaps over the diaper, often a mess,

that goes on the baby who hates to be dressed.

The cover illustration captures the girl's strong resistance, and author Candace Fleming's text describes the uncomfortable sensation of some clothes, a discomfort of which some adults may not be aware. There's a lot of fun here for toddlers old enough to recognize themselves among those who'd rather not put on all those layers of "itchy," "stiff," "pinchy," clothes. Every so often, a layer gets a "No! No! Nooo!" reaction, and the coup de grace occurs when the girl strips off every layer of clothing until she is completely naked again, and shouts, with a huge smile: "Yes! Yes! Yes!"

At this nudist conclusion, even the mother is smiling, and the book nicely portrays both competing points of view of mother and child. This, of course, is an idealized version of such conflicts, but with the right child, it may give both parties an opportunity to recognize themselves and laugh.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my grandson who battles getting dressed. Adorably cute and enjoyable. Purchased along with three other Candace Fleming books as she was at my grandchildren's school and was signing their books they brought in from home.
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By B McFarland on December 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
while the story and illustrations were great, I was expecting a hard-bound copy but a paperback arrived. The book was to be a shower gift and a hard-back copy would have been more appropriate.
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By S. Newark on April 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love, love, love the joyful rhythmic way this book reads. Both my girls loved hearing mommy act out the lines. :)
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By Amazon Customer on March 15, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I absolutely love this book
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