Picture Book Reviews: Blue Baboon Finds Her Tune & Baby Squeaks

Two terrifically fun picture books on the review docket today! First up, courtesy of Sourcebooks is Blue Baboon Finds Her Tune by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty; and second up is Anne Hunter’s Baby Squeaks, courtesy of Tundra Books/Penguin Random House Canada. Happy reading!

A wonderfully sweet and vibrantly illustrated rhyming picture book, Blue Baboon Finds Her Tune is the latest children’s offering from Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty– who you may recognize as the team behind The Snatchabook and The Storybook Knight! Under the light of an “orange moon”, readers see a bright and curious blue baboon spy a…bassoon! With no one playing it! And what can Blue Baboon really be expected to do except try to play the instrument and join the small band already playing? Unfortunately, it seems as though the other band players do not want baboon to play with them as her bassoon playing is… “out of tune”. Poor baboon! As the other band members decide to take the bassoon back and begin to walk away, a monsoon suddenly starts pouring down, leaving a wet and sad blue baboon! But readers do not need to worry that all is lost as baboon soon takes off in a ballon, finds herself in a dune, and in the midst of a happier new musical adventure. While the closing of the story might have benefited from a slightly more drawn-out ending, Blue Baboon Finds Her Tune is still a treat. With its snappy, sweet rhyming text and adorable artwork, Blue Baboon Finds Her Tune is perfect for a younger/toddler audience- and for trying out as a bouncy read aloud story. Readers will find much to enjoy in Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty’s inviting and bright story world.

Author and illustrator Anne Hunter’s Baby Squeaks is a wonderfully wry and sweet tale centred on a little baby mouse and what happens when baby mouse starts to speak. As the story opens, readers see a mama mouse snuggling her swaddled baby mouse close, with the note that “Baby Mouse was a quiet baby…at first”. As readers turn the page, we see the delight in Mama’s beaming smile and raised paws as “Baby said Baby’s first word”: squeak! Then comes a second word: squeak squeak! How absolutely thrilling! But as it turns out, once this Baby Mouse begins to talk, they do not stop…not even for a breath or moment…and Mama Mouse begins to appears more than a little worn out due to the never-ending squeaking. After depositing Baby Mouse outside their mouse house to see the sun and animal friends (and for much-needed breather), Baby Mouse squeaks her way into, and quickly out of, making new friends. From porcupines to rabbits and a fawn, Baby Mouse continues her litany of squeaks as they wander. But what happens when Mama wakes up to find Baby Mouse gone- how will Baby Mouse ever be found? A very dry, very funny picture book that perfectly captures that joy and conundrums, incredible love and exhaustion of parenting, Baby Squeaks is another winning title from Anne Hunter. Hunter’s gorgeous and distinctive style of artwork- ballpoint pen and coloured pencil are used here- and minimal colour palette allow the expressive animals and dialogue bubbles of squeaky Baby Mouse to take center stage. Readers who enjoyed Hunter’s Where’s Baby? (the first in the Baby Animals series) or love picture books by creators such as Liz Climo, Ruth Chan, Abi Cushman, or Jory John might especially delight in Baby Squeaks.

I received a copy of Blue Baboon Finds Her Tune courtesy of Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review. I received a copy of Baby Squeaks courtesy of Tundra Books/Penguin Random House Canada. All opinions and comments are my own. Titles have been published and are currently available.

Author: michelle@fabbookreviews

Reference & Children's Librarian. Reader. Reviewer.

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