Sibling Succession Gets the Royal Treatment in KING BABY

BookendsCindy: “I am King Baby!” proclaims the infant on the first page of Kate Beaton’s picture book, King Baby (2016). Soon, lines of adoring subjects bestow gifts upon him.

Babies have demands, and King Baby is certainly no exception. Feed me! Burp me! Change me! Carry me! Perhaps my favorite happens when King Baby sits on his blanket and says “ehh pbb,” but his inner monologue announces, “Now. Bring me the thing.” The father, holding a bag of groceries, looks befuddled. The mother, holding a laundry basket, says, “Oh honey, he wants his toy.” But baby’s frustration King Baby by Kate Beatongrows and he decides to do something new: get the thing himself. Let the crawling commence!

Children will chortle along with the quirky illustrations, right up to the funny ending that promises a transfer of power—something that isn’t always easy to laugh about.


Lynn:
Toddlers who find themselves with a new sibling will find lots to laugh about in this very funny book, but their parents will really appreciate its nuance. Babies ARE royal. . . er. . . tyrants. The brightly colored illustrations are a comic treat; big boys and girls who have mastered skills like crawling will find oval-shaped infants falling on their noses hilarious! So will grandparents who, to be honest, having survived two generations of tiny tyrants, might just be the best audience.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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