Baby's Got The Blues by Carol Diggory Shields

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Baby's Got The Blues by Carol Diggory Shields

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Lorraine McDonald
Reviewed by Lorraine McDonald
Summary: When you measure your life in months not years, life’s tough. It’s enough to make a baby sing the blues. Luckily this pastiche will leave you with a giggle and a smile.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: March 2014
Publisher: Walker
ISBN: 978-1406351545

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I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been toting my baby in my arms, pushing him in his buggy or carrying him in his baby back pack and strangers have remarked ooh – lovely! I wish I was a baby! Well, do you think babies have it easy? Really? Well, listen up because the apple cheeked, down in the mouth hero of Baby’s Got The Blues is going to set you right.

Baby’s Got The Blues is a pastiche of hard luck songs. Life can be tough even if you don't have a wife to leave you and your dog is hail and hearty. When you count your age in months not years your troubles, from an adult perspective, may seem to be small ones. Becoming a victim of rambunctious older siblings, getting incarcerated in baby jail (aka ‘the cot’) and being left to sit in a soggy nappy are the fate of this baby. He’s got the B-A-B-Y, baby, Got the poor little baby blues.

This is a musical book with text that needs to be sung, so channel your inner Hank Williams or Mamie Smith and go with the flow. It is totally true that your baby loves your voice irrespective of what Simon Cowell may make of it. I ad-lib with some Wah-wah-wah-wah’s to spice things up a bit and my baby is sold. Heaven knows what the passing postman makes of it all.

The illustrations, by Lauren Tobia, are not cutesy and weren’t immediately appealing to me, especially the muted cover. This IS a book about the blues remember. Oddly though, my little boy was engaged – I think even sad baby faces are intriguing to another baby. Inside the cover, the drawings do get more appealing. There are some lovely and amusing depictions of family life. If I did want to be picky, it might have been nice to see some Papa’s as well as the Mama’s, plus the ending, in contrast to the edgy feel of the book, feels a tad saccharine. I can forgive both of these points though as the humour is so sharp, the concept so unusual and my baby loved it, either in spite of or because of my singing.

Baby’s Got The Blues works for me as it is based on the astute observation that babyhood is mythologised. Debunking this myth powers the jokes that follow. How well Baby’s Got The Blues goes down with the grown ups will depend on how they feel about singing the blues. Though the parody aspect will be lost on your average under five, the trials of the grumpy baby hero will not. The verdict from me and junior is that the B-A-B-Y baby blues are G-R-E-A-T.

For another tale of a baby wise beyond his years, try Baby Brains and RoboMum by Simon James

Buy Baby's Got The Blues by Carol Diggory Shields at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Baby's Got The Blues by Carol Diggory Shields at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Baby's Got The Blues by Carol Diggory Shields at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Baby's Got The Blues by Carol Diggory Shields at Amazon.com.


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