Shhh! The Baby’s Asleep

Charlesbridge. Jun. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781580895224.
PreS-K–Naptime in a busy house, where the baby has finally fallen asleep, means staying quiet, and it’s not easy with so many people around! Dante needs to fix the wheels on his toy truck, Shae needs to set her curls, and the neighbor, Mr. Young, needs to mow his lawn. Will the baby be able to maintain a quiet slumber? Or will the noises made by others create an awakening? For families with young children, “Shh, the baby’s asleep!” is a common refrain, frequently repeated throughout this delightful book. Short, rhyming couplets present the story in a sing-song fashion that will please preschoolers, who will want to mimic the many sounds that emerge throughout the narrative. This book expertly captures the fine line between wanting to get things done while the baby sleeps but also ensuring a docile environment. Mixed media illustrations give the images a collage-style effect and include vivid jewel tones and myriad patterns throughout. Dynamic angles increase the feelings of uncertainty as each new sound threatens. The characters in this story are multigenerational, depicted with dark skin and curly, textured hair; each person has a unique appearance yet all easily comprise a loving family.
VERDICT Accessible and engaging, this tale can be used in story-hour settings, and will find a home on most shelves.

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