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Please, Baby, Please Paperback – April 1, 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 301 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Filmmaker Spike Lee and wife Tonya Lewis Lee join the ranks of other celebrity kids' book writers with their sweet, rhythmic read-along about the endless energy of a toddler blasting through a busy day.

The Lees' diapered dynamo starts early (the VCR reads 3:01 a.m.), with the little girl outlasting her mama sprawled out on the living room floor ("Go back to bed, baby, please, baby, please"). A breakfast of upturned Cheerios follows a few hours later ("Not on your HEAD, baby baby baby, please!"), then play time, a trip to the playground, dinner, and a bath ("Please don't splash, baby baby, please, baby!"). The fun repetition doesn't change up until the book's sweet close, as the curly-haired tyke somehow can't get to sleep ("Kiss me good night? Mama, Mama, Mama, please").

The Lees have as much or more success than their high-profile counterparts (Jerry Seinfeld: Halloween, John Lithgow: Marsupial Sue; and Jamie Lee Curtis: I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem), thanks in large part to their excellent choice of illustrator Kadir Nelson, whose work has appeared everywhere from Sports Illustrated to the New Yorker. Just as he did with Will Smith's Just the Two of Us, Nelson uses his enormous talent to inject energy and emotion into each richly colored, Rockwellian spread. (Baby to preschool) --Paul Hughes --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Many grownups will recognize the title as the comic carnal plea uttered by Lee (as Mars Blackmon) in his 1986 film, She's Gotta Have It. Now, the filmmaker and his wife/co-author, who have two children, have turned those words into a G-rated parental entreaty-directed at an inexhaustible toddler. "Go back to bed,/ baby, please, baby, please./ Not on your head,/ baby baby baby, please!" The large typography seems to writhe in vain supplication. The cherubic toddler, whose chocolate ringlets circle her head like restless electrons, tests her parents' patience in myriad ways, and Nelson (Just the Two of Us) has a knack for picking just the right angle. For the first of his handsome, burnished-toned acrylic spreads, readers share a toddler's eye-view. In the foreground are the feet of the prone, exhausted mother, a plastic ring from a stacking toy hanging from her left big toe, as a very wide awake baby plays horsey on her stomach. The clock on the VCR reads 3:01 a.m., and a bedtime video playing on the TV clearly makes no impact whatsoever. A tantrum when it's time to leave the playground, plus a chaotic meal and bath occasion other imploring phrases from the parents, whose presence Nelson suggests with just a foot or an arm outstretched to the youngster. But at book's end, the tables are turned: "Kiss me good night?/ Mama, Mama, Mama, please," says the girl, standing in the doorway of her mom and dad's room. The final wordless picture, a loving embrace, leaves no doubt of who loves this baby. Ages 2-5.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689834578
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689834578
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (301 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book has sweet, rhyming text with an Afican American flavor (Keep off the wall, please, baby, please!). The illustrations are incredibly realistic, and I especially appreciate the endearing expressions on the toddler in this story. Her expressions of delight, stubborn defiance, and wonder are familiar to anyone who has ever loved or parented a one-year old. Best of all, my own children (ages 1 1/2 and 3 1/2) love this story and ask to read it again and again (Please, Mommy, please!). If your own library lacks quality literature featuring ethnically diverse main characters, I highly recommend this one.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Rarely does my 2-year old sit through a reading of a whole book. This one he does! And my 3-year old as well. They love chanting "Please, baby, please!" and the other variations of that phrase throughout the book. The story is fun and something that both my kids and I can relate to - an adorable toddler getting into trouble. The combination of excellent writing and beautiful illustrations make this a huge hit with my family!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is my daughter's (2 yrs old) absolute favorite book! Although it is illustrated for and targeted to African-American children, it was a must-have for us! I was drawn in by the adorable illustration on the cover + I adore the text, how often am I constantly telling my toddler to "keep off the wall?!" This is the first book my daughter reaches for when we sit down to read. The rhyme & beat make the book an untiring pleasure to read! Now that we have read it a million times, my daughter will often "read" it to herself! One of the best things about this book is that my daughter has begun to follow requests with "Please" in her everyday vocabulary! Who knew that when I bought this book 6 months ago that it'd help to teach my daughter manners?! Don't hesitate to buy this book if you are Caucasion or otherwise, it is bound to the best on your bookshelf!
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Format: Hardcover
My two-year old daughter and four year old nephew love this book! There are items to count, colors to name, and of course the wonderful rythym of "please, baby, please." The illustrations are wonderful! The child in the picture could easily be a boy or girl, and the daily routines of the child in the book are similar to any toddler child's busy day. I will share this book for a long time!
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I purchased this for our 1 year old daughter's growing library! My partner and I are of Indian ancestry, and we are Canadians, so having books that mirror the multiculturalism we live in, is important. Most children's books showcase characters like 'Jack' and 'Jill' and they are usually representing someone of British ancestry. This keeps supporting the late 1800's and early 1900's philosophy that Canada (and the US) are 'white' nations. We have been selective in finding books that represent diversity and also showcase girls and women through a broader range than Disney's fairytale princesses. This book definitely delivered on many fronts! Having representation of an African ancestry family, with the central character 'baby' behaving like any child, across cultures, was important as many multiculture books will showcase characters only in the context of a specific culture... Like an Indian ancestry child wanting to try on her mother's saris. I still think those books are important because they help locate specific cultural issues as normal, as everyday, as valuable because they are in books, but we also need books that showcase 'ethnic' ancestry characters doing everyday things like swimming, playing catch at the park, doing homework ... We know 'Jack and Jill' do their homework but so do Gilat, Rahim, Priya, Mumtaz, Wen Shing, Chin etc! This book highlights that important issue and depicts a cute little girl, whose parents have to plead 'please baby please' to stop doing this or that! And the repetition of please baby please is great for kids to follow along! The illustrations are wonderful. Realistic, but playful. Tonya Lewis Lee and Spike Lee did a great job! We need more books that represent our rich diversity! Two mummy thumbs up!
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By A Customer on February 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The best illustrations in any baby book we own! Kadir Nelson(the illustrator) has depicted the toddler perfectly. From the teasing, to the resisting, to the fun loving humans they are. I recognized my own fair, red headed daughter in the main character, an African American child. This book is for anyone who has a toddler or toddler to be!
The words are pleadings from the parents of this little girl, who want her to eat her peas, to not eat the sand, and to not be such a tease, among all the other things our toddlers do and don't do.
The words flow from page to page with beautiful simplicity.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My toddler loved this book so much, we read it every day for nearly two months. We got it just before she turned two, and we wore it out quickly, but have repaired the staples a few times and it still gets loving from us! She and I both love the story of this child's day, and the simple rhythm of the writing. She likes to pick out different items in the pictures, and she even learned a few lessons from the girls' actions! A winner for us!
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
Loved this. This was one of the few books featuring a brown skin brown haired child that did not make a big deal about it. In the book, this child is just a child and its most distinguishing feature is that it has a mother who adores it and is at its beck and call. Love has no color.
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