Author/Illustrator: Kate Beaton
Age Group: 3-6 & Adult
Synopsis: Told from the perspective of a baby, who rules his home.
The Low Down:
I don’t know many parents that have not, at one point or another, felt like a slave to their child, especially babies. My mother once told me that the adorableness is a self-defense mechanism. It makes sense because while they are pretty darn cute, babies are also pretty darn demanding. Kate Beaton captures that perfectly in her King Baby. This is one kid’s book that I’ve wanted to share with everyone (ok, this is not a new experience. If my husband had a penny for every time I said: “Here read this!” he’d be rich.).
King Baby is narrated by the king himself. Completely confident in his own right to rule, King Baby makes Louis XIV look humble. He describes his subjects as fools and openly admits that he will coo, giggle, and smile but also demands changing, feeding, burping, carrying, etc. And he demands it NOW! However, his subjects’ abilities continue to disappoint him and he starts doing things for himself. He begins a montage of growth and progresses into a Big Boy (complete with a setting sun and bicycle to compliment his new title). The only worry he has now is for his subjects. For, if he is no longer King Baby then what will they do? Who will lead them? The arrival of Queen Baby assuages his worries and the cycle begins anew.
Beaton illustrates this to a T. The parents progress, in a few pages, from being proud and standing at attention near King Baby’s crib to exhausted beyond belief and collapsing on the sofa. King Baby, meanwhile, maintains his look of arrogance the entire story, staying true to his character. Beaton’s realistic and humorous take on the experience of raising a new baby and presenting it from the baby’s perspective is refreshing. It’s a joke that is told good naturedly and well making parents everywhere nod in remembrance while eliciting chuckles.
- Bug also enjoyed this book and liked referring to himself as the big boy. It’s a great read for new brothers and sisters.
I need more!
Kate Beaton also wrote The Princess and the Pony as well as a cartoon called “Hark! A Vagrant” and “Step Aside, Pops.” She’s got a quirky sense of humor that makes me want to seek her out and high-five her. If you’re looking for a chuckle check out her website: http://www.harkavagrant.com/
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