Wednesday, October 4, 2017

A Band of Babies

A Band of Babies. Carole Gerber. Illustrated by Jane Dyer. 2017. HarperCollins. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Play-group morning. Babies fret--not sure what to do just yet. In struts Benny--new in town. Babies' frowns turn upside down.

Premise/plot: Benny is the pied piper, a trouble maker. Don't be deceived by his seeming innocence. Don't think his musical band charming. His plan: hypnotize the one adult watching all of the babies, escape from the daycare with all of the babies, and do as much damage possible to a local grocery store. I don't know WHAT Benny did to the woman in charge of the babies--the daycare worker--but if I was a parent who had my baby in her care. I'd want answers. I'd want an investigation. I'd want her to be held responsible for her carelessness.
Grapes. Bananas. Apricots. Hungry babies eating lots. Carrots. Yogurt. Love this store! Benny bellows, "Eat some more!" Crackers. Pretzels. Bagel chips. Crumbs coat every baby's lips. Babies thirsty. Gulp down juice. Getting tired of running loose.
My thoughts: I was disturbed by this book. It will take more than rhythm and rhyme to distract me from this crime in progress. Babies running loose on city streets and destroying a store--stealing all the food they can grab and put in their mouths. Not funny. Not charming. Also not realistic--I hope. Why is no one angry? Why is the day care worker so careless and negligent and clearly not capable of taking command of the children under her care? Clearly the grocery store owner should be upset at what's going on in his store, on all the aisles. But he's not. Who is Benny? If Benny is capable of this now when he's a toddler, what will he be capable of as a teenager? an adult?

Text: 1 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 5 out of 10

© 2017 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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