Peter is Just a Baby
Eerdmans, 2011 (2011)
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke
eter is Just a Baby
is a lightweight, oversize book for little readers, ages three and up. In it, a six-year old big sister tells of the differences between her abilities and those of baby brother Peter. The author includes a glossary of French words used in the book.
Peter is my brother and he's just a baby ... I can even count to three in French - 'un, deux, trois' - and ask for apple 'pie a la mode' ... and he can't even walk yet. He crawls like a turtle ... Not me. I can run ... even do 'pirouettes' around the living room like a real ballerina.
hile Grandma teaches the children French, sister can speak varied words, and Peter only says words like
. And he is a sloppy eater. Peter mashes peas with a spoon and sometimes gets tomato sauce on his nose.
ig sister tells readers of the six birthday parties she has had, while Peter will be celebrating his first birthday soon. Sister lists the different ways she will help Peter at his birthday party, like '
Putting on his party hat ... Opening his presents ... Blowing out his candles.
' Sister hopes that maybe at one year old, Peter will not be a baby any more.
usso's illustration form is unique; painted in
, it is colorful, two-dimensional, and reminiscent of folk art. The term
) is derived from the Italian guazzo for water paint, splash or bodycolor. The paint consists of pigment suspended in water, with the presence of a binding agent, such as gum arabic (the same as in watercolor).
oungsters will be delighted with the words in the story, and the illustrations of teddy bear characters, with their expressions and activities in outlined, mute colors. It's an adorable story to call a child's attention to the difference of ages and abilities of siblings, and others they come in contact with.
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