Be a Baby.


36 pages
ISBN 978-0-88899-776-0
DDC jC811'.54





Illustrations by Manuel Monroy
Reviewed by Britta Santowski

Britta Santowski is a freelance writer in Victoria, B.C.


This brightly illustrated book contains the soothing sounds of a lullaby in its presentation of nonsensical rhyming couplets. “Be a birdie, Baby, /Be a lonely loon. /Be a bowl of pudding, and / I’ll eat you with a spoon.” Each two-page spread contains a full-page picture, featuring a baby engaged in a particular activity, under a blanket, sucking her toes, sitting in the grass, lying in some pillows, and so on.


I enjoyed the book up until the last page, where the black text appears on a dark brown backdrop. I get grumpy when I can’t read the words in a children’s book. The words on this unfortunately presented page read thus: “Or be a baby, Baby, /and I’ll bundle you up tight. /And I’ll rock you in my arms /until the night turns light.” And the picture shows the young mother with a slight smile on her face snuggling her widely smiling baby, presumably all night long.


I must say that this book is delightful to read to read to any infant or toddler since it uses simple words (indeed, many they may recognize) and employs rhythm and rhyme to engage the young audience. The illustrations are simple and appealing, and give the parent (either male or female) many different ways to engage with the child, be it reading the story or identifying known objects on a page. Recommended.


Withrow, Sarah., “Be a Baby.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 12, 2024,