- Age Range: 4 - 8 years
- Grade Level: Preschool - 3
- Lexile Measure: 710L (What's this?)
- Series: Baby Brains
- Hardcover: 32 pages
- Publisher: Candlewick (September 9, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0763625078
- ISBN-13: 978-0763625078
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.3 x 11.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,376,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Baby Brains: The Smartest Baby in the Whole World. Hardcover – September 9, 2004
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 1–Mr. and Mrs. Brains "wanted to make sure their baby was going to be very smart," so they read aloud, played music and languages, and turned up the news for the child in Mrs. Brains's tummy. Sure enough, Baby Brains is discovered reading the newspaper on his very first morning at home. He attends school the following day, announcing his desire to study medicine. In just two weeks, he begins his medical practice and is discovered by the press. When scientists invite him to join their next mission, the world watches as he walks in space. But he reacts to the immensity of space as any infant astronaut might, by wailing to Ground Control, "I want my mommy!" He's rushed home to hugs, warm baths, tickles, lullabies, and the life of a pretty normal infant–except on weekends, when "he still liked to help out at the local hospital." Beginning with the diaper-clad tot perusing a stack of books on the title page and closing with him at his laptop wearing his onesie, this tongue-in-cheek tale will tickle the funny bones of young listeners. The loose and playful lines of the watercolor-and-ink illustrations are used judiciously and to great effect; this economy applies as well to the carefully controlled and well-paced text. The perplexed and awed adults and the absurdly competent baby are perfectly silly and delightful. From the far reaches of space to the snuggly warmth of his welcome home, readers will enjoy the adventures of "the smartest baby in the whole world."–Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* PreS-Gr. 3. A certain wry humor underlies the story of "the smartest baby in the whole world." Mr and Mrs. Brains stimulate their unborn infant's intelligence by reading aloud, playing music, and turning up the volume for the news. Their plan succeeds so brilliantly that, only days after his birth, Baby Brains is reading the newspaper, fixing the car, and noting, "I'd like to go to school tomorrow." Within weeks he has completed medical school and is performing operations. From there to outer space is a small step for Baby Brains, but after an experience during a space walk, he chooses the path more traveled. From Dear Mr. Blueberry (1991) to Little One Step (2003), James' picture books tell simple stories with sensitivity and gentle humor. Another writer might have turned this into a cautionary tale for parents, but James keeps his child audience in mind. Baby Brains is no brat but a likable Everybaby who excels to stratospheric levels but returns to Earth. Restrained in color and line, the expressive illustrations are deft ink drawings tinted with sunny hues and often surrounded by plenty of white space. With its comical concept, eye-catching jacket, and appealing artwork, this picture book is one that both children and adults will be telling their friends about. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Now Mr. and Mrs. Brains were determined to have an intelligent child. They did all the right things you should do to insure a smart infant, short of devouring copious amounts of fish. They read aloud to Mrs. Brains's pregnant tummy. They played music at it. They even turned up the sound on the tv when the news came on (which, depending on what station they were accustomed to watching, could have yielded some very interesting results). So when their little Baby Brains was born they shouldn't have been too surprised at his brilliance. Still, Baby Brains was extraordinary. One day out of the womb and he was fixing the car. Two days out of the womb and he was participating in school. Two weeks and he was a doctor at the local hospital. When the space program calls up, it seems only natural that Baby Brains would accept their offer to go into the wild blue yonder. But with their baby's popularity, Mr. and Mrs. Brains see less of their child. What will it take to get him back in their arms? The answer is more obvious than you might think.
This book is just as much about the trappings of fame as it is about the emotional needs of the very very smart. The book's climax comes when Baby Brains is floating in space on a tether. "Baby Brains looked up at the vast starlit sky above him. He looked down at the vast starlit sky below him". And finding himself in that state where the human being is floating like a fetus in a womb (you could probably write an entire thesis on the idea of the baby image from the movie "2001" now finding himself in the role of the astronaut) he lifts his head to the skies and cries out, "I want my mommy!". Happy ending (and cute twist at the very very end) for all involved. Simon James has a drawing style that conjures up the twisted pennings of Quentin Blake, only softer and sweeter. The pictures are amusing and the plot downright whimsical. All in all, if you're looking for a cute but intelligent picture book for your young `uns that was written in the last 5 or so years, "Baby Brains" is a sure-fire hit. As impossible to dislike as sweet honey on the vine.