Thursday, 17 May 2012

A review of "The Baby That Roared", written by Simon Puttock and illustrated by Nadia Shireen

Hi People in the Ether,

   Simon Puttock's garrulous story and Nadia Shireen's warm illustrations combine beautifully to make this picture book a giggly read.


   Mr and Mrs Deer pine for a baby, and low and behold an infant shaped parcel lands on their doorstep, appropriately antlered. Mrs Deer sees the "dear little baby" as a gift, Mr Deer is a little more sceptical about the baby's appearance. But they adopt the creature and are soon confronted with trails of parenthood. This baby roars, incessantly.

   An uncle, an aunt and a doctor are recruited and offer advice on feeding, nappy changing and sleep - but each mysteriously disappears when left alone with baby. Finally, wise Granny Bear arrives and decides the baby merely needs burping - this solves the roaring and the mystery as each of the preceding sages are regurgitated and even the deluded Deers must admit that the stranger is no baby, but a greedy little monster. A monster who dashes away into the forest never to be seen, or heard from, again. Or does it?!

   Puttock's phrasing is witty and lovely. Shireen's illustrations are full of colour and texture, and allow attentive young sleuths to figure out that this infant is not so innocent. It's a wicked and quirky read for jealous siblings who might see a new arrival as an actual monster.

   Thanks for reading,

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