Babies in the Bayou

( 1 )

Overview

There are lots of babies in the bayou, and even though they might have sharp teeth, hard shells, webbed feet, or quick claws, their mothers still need to watch over them and protect them from harm. The babies learn how to dig, swim, and follow their alert mothers? lead. Children will fall under the bayou's spell as they learn all about this unusual and rich habitat.

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Overview

There are lots of babies in the bayou, and even though they might have sharp teeth, hard shells, webbed feet, or quick claws, their mothers still need to watch over them and protect them from harm. The babies learn how to dig, swim, and follow their alert mothers? lead. Children will fall under the bayou's spell as they learn all about this unusual and rich habitat.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Arnosky (Beachcombing: Exploring the Seashore) looks at the littlest inhabitants of the Southern marshland, while still exposing the tooth-and-claw nature of life in the wild. "There are babies in the bayou with black and yellow tails," he writes, introducing, in turn, alligators, raccoons ("with rings around their tails"), turtles and ducklings. Arnosky portrays all the babies under the watchful eyes of their mothers ("Mother alligator guards her babies well. She lets no one come near"). But he also makes it clear this is an ecosystem, where just about every creature is some other creature's dinner. When the raccoon mother teaches her adorable babies "how to dig for tasty turtle eggs," their meal occupies one side of a spread, while more fortunate turtle babies emerge from eggs in another area of the swamp. Young alligators regard the fuzzy ducklings as potential dinner, and may be in hot pursuit as the book closes. And yet, this book never feels grim. Quite the contrary: the incantatory prose and luxurious, color-saturated artwork—reminiscent of vintage Golden Books—invites readers to immerse themselves in a mysterious watery landscape, and watch life unfold. Ages 3-up. (Jan.)

Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Denise Daley
Jim Arnosky is the seasoned author and illustrator of many well known books for children. For this book Arnosky used acrylic colors and paints to create his characteristic illustrations. The softly muted pictures portray life in the bayou for baby animals and their mothers. Parents protect their children and gently guides them through the sometimes-dangerous shallow waters of the bayou. Alligators, raccoons, turtles, and ducks are a few of the families that are delicately depicted as they enjoy their existence in the bayou's waterways. Children will develop a basic understanding of the characteristics of animal families. Additionally, young children will come to appreciate both the diversity and the similarities found in all of nature's animals. This beautiful book is destined to become another Arnosky favorite.
School Library Journal

PreS-K
This is a wonderful resource to use with children to illuminate the ways of nature; it's economical and rhythmic in text, and beautifully and clearly illustrated. Arnosky uses simple language and a repeated refrain to describe the animals that live in a lush Southern environment: "There are babies in the bayou with black and yellow tails" (alligators), "…with rings around their tails" (raccoons), "…with shells upon their backs" (turtles), and "…with webs between their toes" (ducks). As the gentle text guides readers through the swamp, each spread limns its scene in transparent green, yellow, and blue acrylics, framed with dark branches, grasses, and silhouetted birds and other small creatures. Use this vibrant book as a read-aloud to introduce an intriguing habitat, or pair it with Kathi Appelt's Bayou Lullaby (HarperCollins, 1995) for a satisfying storytime sojourn.
—Judith ConstantinidesCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
A poetic text and soft acrylics present the various baby animals found in a bayou. Baby alligators "with black and yellow tails / and smiling mouths of sharp white teeth," baby raccoons "with rings around their tails," baby turtles "with shells upon their backs / and strong little legs to carry them" and baby ducks "with webs between their toes" form the progression in this deceptively simple, lovely offering. The text doesn't name the animals at first, allowing children to take their cues from the illustrations and the textual clues, a technique that both encourages readers to interact with the narrative and highlights the lyricism of the language. Visually, the illustrations excel, a filtered green light unifying each scene, perspectives varying in a celebration of the richness of an environment in which the line between air and water seems almost nonexistent. The babies themselves are presented sequentially, each subsequent animal appearing appropriately in context (often as predator and prey) with its preceding one, until cycling back around to the first. No one does this better than Arnosky, and here, he is at his best. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399226533
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/18/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 486,262
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.79 (w) x 11.26 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2007

    A reviewer

    This is probably one of the few, if not the only, book of the bayou I've ever seen that was written exclusively for children. It is wonderful, imaginative and informational, but it also teaches children that a mother and father, animal or human, care for their young ones.

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