Ssssh! Duck Don't Wake the Baby by Jez Alborough

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Ssssh! Duck Don't Wake the Baby by Jez Alborough

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Buy Ssssh! Duck Don't Wake the Baby by Jez Alborough at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Magda Healey
Reviewed by Magda Healey
Summary: A well drawn, well written, well pitched rite-of-passage book for toddlers dealing with the 'new baby' conundrum. Parents and small children will recognise themselves & laugh. A cut above other 'how to deal with siblings' books. It will be read again and again.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 34 Date: September 2007
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0007243556

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I liked the previous Duck book by Jez Alborough a lot, and this second offering I came across is up to the same standard, in fact it's even better.

The 'new baby arrives' is one of the favourite subjects for rite-of-passage books for small children (probably beating the potty training, the first day in the nursery and even I-don't-want-to-go-to-bed) and Ssssh! Duck Don't Wake the Baby joins a long list of books that deal with that theme.

As Duck is family-less in the series, the baby that he's subjected to is not his own Ducking-sibling, but a kid. When he arrives at Goat's wanting to go for a drive, he gets fobbed off: there is no time for a drive as the baby is a) eating b) playing with its toys c) going to sleep. Being the enthusiastic and positive if a bit blunder-prone creature that Duck is, he tries to join in each of the activities and gets whacked on the head with a toy, spat on with the milk and eventually causes a minor catastrophe and, yes, wakes the baby. The goat takes the baby for a drive (in Duck's car) to lull it to sleep while the poor fowl is left to tidy up. It all ends well though and the final tableau of the duck sleeping in the kid's cot, with the kid's dummy in his mouth after having a good drink from baby's bottle is very funny indeed.

As usual with Jez Alborough's books, the artwork is bright and dynamic, literally (in the 'pop up surprise) bursting with action. The faces of the characters are comical and bear instantly identifiable expressions.

Anybody with a baby and an older sibling will recognise the pattern, and many an older sibling will recognise themselves in Duck, who is very much like a toddler himself (despite driving a red truck).

The text is very short and very simple, almost too simple (which is my problem with a lot of Jez Alborough's books), but this is made up for by the artwork.

All in all, a great book for toddlers with a baby in the house - and I can't imagine a mother that won't splutter her tea all over the place when faced with the content of the 'pop-up-surprise'. Half star off for a baby goat drinking from a bottle (again!! - as all storybook creatures seem to do).

Thanks to HarperCollins for sending this to the BookBag.

Another book that has a new baby and a lot of humour is I Want a Sister by Tony Ross.

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Buy Ssssh! Duck Don't Wake the Baby by Jez Alborough at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Ssssh! Duck Don't Wake the Baby by Jez Alborough at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Ssssh! Duck Don't Wake the Baby by Jez Alborough at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Ssssh! Duck Don't Wake the Baby by Jez Alborough at Amazon.com.

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