Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Read, Read, Read said the Baby: Ma! There's nothing to do here! by Barbara Park, illustrated by Viviana Garofoli

This is another board book that would have worked better as a picture book.

A baby complains about how boring it is inside his mom and imagines all the things he could be doing. Finally, he realizes he needs some more time to grow but promises he'll be coming out soon.

The drawings are dominated by the baby with its giant head. Most of them are fanciful, but the baby has an umbilical cord more or less and the final picture shows him sliding down a twisting chute to be born.

It's very busy and text-heavy for a board book and is likely to raise questions about the birth process, if that's a concern for your parents. I can see older kids and adults finding it very funny, but it's all wrong for a board book audience.

Verdict: This should never have been adapted to a board book - it's a picture book story both in complexity of text and illustrations and in subject matter. I seem to be seeing more and more picture books adapted to board books when they don't work in that format at all. I don't know if this is something mainly done by Random House or if I just review more of their books.

ISBN: 9780307982193; Published 2008 by Random House; Review copy provided by publisher; Donated to the library prize box


Ami said...

Love this picture book - my kids do, too - but I can easily see where it wouldn't work in BB form. Board books are for bright, simple pictures (or photographs of other babies) and simple vocabulary. They are targeting their marketing on people who don't know what they are buying, they just need a gift for a baby shower or something, and it's irritating. Then the little one isn't interested in the book, so the adult loses interest in reading to him.

Stepping off of soap box now:)

Jennifer said...

Exactly! Board books are not just sturdier, smaller versions of picture books!