From Publishers Weekly
Kalman's paintings accompany the words to "Stay Up Late," the Talking Heads song. The action in this book is all in the pictures. A girl and boy somewhat cruelly entertain themselves by preventing their baby brother from sleepingyanking and tossing him, pulling his hair, blasting him with music: "He's just a little plaything/ Why not wake him up?" Meanwhile, adults are shown drinking, dancing, daydreaming or napping, but not paying much attention to the children. Kalman uses a pseudochildish composition and styleimaginative and energetic, with lots of inventive asidesbut her art has a mean-spirited edge that takes its cue from the lyrics: "We want to make him stay up all night." This book has a definite appeal for hip adults, but it's not for the literal-minded child. All ages.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1 A common theme, a new baby in the family, is housed in a unique package. Magic marker picto graphs on aqua-colored endpapers pre cede the brightly-colored expressionis tic illustrations which accompany the lyrics to a popular new wave song writ ten by the lead singer of the Talking Heads. The text, simple and repetitive, with a pounding beat and an irreverent outlook, begins, ``Mommy had a little baby. /There he is fast asleep. /He's just a little plaything. /Why not wake him up?'' The narrator, an older sibling, ex presses the jealousy and interest she feels towards the new baby. The mock ing tone of the text ridicules adult senti mentality by a juxtaposition of oppos ing views. The ambivalence the narrator feels for the new baby is also supported by the illustrations. The sis ter begs to hold the baby, but the following illustration shows her pulling the baby's hair. The emotional tone of the illustrations is upheaval and uncer tainty. Illustrations are in flat perspec tive and at unusual angles, so items of ten appear to be falling out of the frame. This high energy piece should appeal to children who are more honest about their fears and jealousies than adults. And the comforting resolution, brother, sister, baby, and dog finally alseep to gether, should soothe some of those real fears. Karen K. Radtke, Milwau kee Public Library
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.