Monday, February 26, 2018

Do you know what Baby wants?

Picture Book: What Baby Wants
Author: Phyllis Root
Illustrator: Jill Bartow
Summary: This hilarious tale involves an extended family who live on a farm. 
There is a new baby in their midst and Mama is exhausted. All her family convince her to take a nap, assuring her that they will take care of Baby. 
She does take a nap after feeding Baby and tucking him into his crib. The love this family has for this new child is evident. As happens too often, as soon as Mama leaves the room... 
Baby begins wailing. Grandma knows just what to do. 
She goes out to the field and picks some beautiful flowers for Baby. 
But Baby doesn't care for all the flowers! Next Grandpa knows just what Baby wants. 
He ventures out to the farmyard and brings in a soft, feathery goose.  You'll see the repetitive wordplay with each ridiculous situation. Unsurprisingly, Baby isn't comforted by the goose and begins wailing again. This time Aunt has an idea. Baby needs a kiss... 
from the long soft tongue of a cow! Baby responds as you might expect. Next it's Uncle's turn. He's convinced that Baby needs something to keep him warm...
like some sheep's wool. Meanwhile, it's getting really crowded in the farmhouse! Big Sister, who is amazingly strong, knows just what Baby wants! He needs a melody to lull him to sleep. 
Why not a tree full of birds!  
But Baby doesn't get a lullaby. All the twittering makes him anxious! 

The wailing continues.
This family is befuddled. What does Baby want? 
Big Brother has been very concerned all along. He has an idea. 

He picks up Baby, gives him a kiss, wraps him in his quilt, 
and sings him that lullaby, a soft, little lullaby. That's what Baby wanted!
Everyone is relieved. Hushaby, shushabye,  Baby goes to sleep. 
Just in time for Daddy's entrance from work. He asks if Baby is alright and is reassured by the entire group that Baby is being well cared for while Mama is sleeping. 
Exhausted, everyone decides some sleep is a good idea.   
Hanna’s Comments: This book was one of my children's favorites! I'm especially glad that it is the big brother who knows just what Baby wants. Boys need to be encouraged to be nurturing so they will be great brothers, uncles, and/or fathers someday! The ridiculousness of the story brings home a lesson that really is hard for some people. That lesson is the importance of empathy, a skill that sometimes needs to be taught. A faith family is a great place to learn more about empathy. Empathy is the foundation for God's second great commandment (love others as you love yourself) and The Golden Rule (do to others what you would have them do to you). It is also an important skill to have when striving for goodness, kindness, and gentleness, three of the Fruits of the Spirit that Paul mentions in Galatians. 
Original Publisher & Date: Candlewick, 1998
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: Love your neighbor as yourself (Deuteronomy 6:5; Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; Luke 6:31); kindness, goodness, and gentleness (Galatians 5:22)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this fun book in a lesson about loving neighbor as self, loving family members, or goodness, kindness, and gentleness (3 of the Fruits of the Spirit).