January 26, 2014

Whoa, Baby, Whoa! by Grace Nichols

Tomorrow is Multicultural Children's Book Day, and in recognition of the day, I am reviewing Whoa, Baby, Whoa!, about a baby from a mixed-race family who gets into all sorts of mischief.

Have you raised a toddler or had the pleasure to watch a baby grow from crawling to toddler? If so, you remember how quickly they can get into trouble. Whoa, Baby, Whoa! depicts a super speeding crawling 1-2 year old who wants to get into everything his legs will allow him. In the book, the curious unnamed baby is bi-racial – his mother is African-American, and his father is white - but that tidbit is never mentioned throughout the story. The author treats this fact as normal, not unusual, focusing instead on the antics of the baby – something any parent, black or white can relate to.

Whoa, Baby, Whoa! features the little baby getting into all kinds of things he shouldn’t; from mom’s makeup top of the bookshelf – that is until mom or dad, or another family member catches up with him in time to keep him out of harm’s way. Baby, however, still manages to get into the newspaper and rip it to bits, grab grandpa’s glasses off his nose, and get mashed potatoes all over his face while eating in his high chair at the dinner table.

The author’s ability to portray a typical day in the life of a baby - whose family just happens to be mixed-race, is both humorous and heartwarming, and sure to give both children and adults a giggle. It's a great book for those seeking a tale about life with baby, but also a great book to read to a young child to prepare him for a new sibling that’s on the way.

Illustrator Eleanor Taylor provides wonderful details in depicting of the mischievous baby, with pictures that show the baby sitting in a high chair with one shoe on and one shoe off, adding to the heart and humor of the story.

Whoa, Baby, Whoa! was a joy for me to read and I hope you find it as enjoyable as I did. Happy reading!