Love Letter: Atinuke’s B is for Baby

h1 February 26th, 2019 by jules

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Here’s a quick post to share some spreads from storyteller and author Atinuke’s newest children’s book, B is for Baby (Candlewick, March 2019), illustrated by Angela Brooksbank. The title may hint at an alphabet book, but this one is focused on one letter only: the letter b.

Though it’s not specified which country, readers know they are in Africa with the brown-skinned toddler of the book’s title, given the cultural and landscape details the illustrator includes here, including the fact that the baby joins her brother on a journey — past the babobab tree, a tree of the African savannah. Not aware that his sister is in the basket of bananas he hauls atop the back of his bike (he’s too busy dancing to the music coming through his headphones), the boy and toddler travel through the countryside to Baba’s bungalow. All along the way, the author points out b-words, laid out in short, spare sentences. (“B is for Bridge.”)

The brother (and grandfather) are surprised to see her when the two arrive — a baboon hanging from a tree during their journey had pulled off the top of the basket — but they happily settle down for hugs (and biscuits). As they head back, we are treated to a spread that condenses all the previous sightseeing into two pages, as we revisit all the “b” letters we’d seen previously — but in reverse order. It all ends with “B is for Baby” — in her mother’s arms again, as she was when the story opened.

Brooksbank’s large, brightly-colored mixed media illustrations make for a rich visual narrative, capturing as they do the sights on the siblings’ journey. It’s a warm snapshot of family and community. Here are a few more illustrations. …



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B IS FOR BABY. Text copyright © 2019 by Atinuke. Illustrations copyright © 2019 by Angela Brooksbank. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA on behalf of Walker Books, London.

2 comments to “Love Letter: Atinuke’s B is for Baby

  1. This same winning team of the Anna Hibiscus series author and illustrator is wonderful – and it makes me smile that this is hyper focused on one letter… that’s pretty typical for an actual baby anyway. ☺

  2. How I love Anna Hibiscus.

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