Baby Babka, the Gorgeous Genius

Overview

Before the new baby is born, Beryl calls it Babka, hoping it will be a girl as sweet as Mama’s delicious chocolate dessert. When it finally arrives, though, Beryl is disappointed. Not only is the baby another boy (she already has one little brother, Sam), but he has a stupid name and is just a big dumb lump, not the gorgeous genius the grownups say he is. However, her wise Uncle Morty has a few tricks up his sleeve. With a little magic and a little assistance from Mama, the aunts, and some old baby pictures, ...

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Victoria Chess Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. 2004 Hard Cover New 7 1/2 x 8 1/2. Brand new glossy pictorial hardcover book. No D/J. Unhappy when her baby sister turns out to be a ... brother, Beryl schemes with her brother Sam to make the newborn disappear, but Uncle Morty helps by telling stories of the love his big sisters had for him, even when he squirted one with pickle juice and ruined another's doll. Read more Show Less

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2004-09-30 Hardcover New New/New; New hardback with new dust jacket no marks.

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Overview

Before the new baby is born, Beryl calls it Babka, hoping it will be a girl as sweet as Mama’s delicious chocolate dessert. When it finally arrives, though, Beryl is disappointed. Not only is the baby another boy (she already has one little brother, Sam), but he has a stupid name and is just a big dumb lump, not the gorgeous genius the grownups say he is. However, her wise Uncle Morty has a few tricks up his sleeve. With a little magic and a little assistance from Mama, the aunts, and some old baby pictures, their Uncle Morty helps Beryl and Sam see that some things are true and unchanging, like the sun in the sky above and a family’s love.
Sharp and witty illustrations from popular artist Victoria Chess punctuate this easy-to-read chapter book about a unique and loving family.

Unhappy when her baby sister turns out to be a brother, Beryl schemes with her brother Sam to make the newborn disappear, but Uncle Morty helps by telling stories of the love his big sisters had for him, even when he squirted one with pickle juice and ruined another's doll.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"funny, heartwarming early chapter book...Chess's soft, rounded, dePaola-style illustrations are as warm, comical, and appealing as the story." KIRKUS Kirkus Reviews

"an appetizing balance of tart and sweet...As a chapter-by-chapter readaloud or readalone, this offers a cozy and personable story"BCCB Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"hilarious and warm story...cartoon illustrations add personality and humor to the characters...this story is a delight." SLJ, starred School Library Journal, Starred

Children's Literature
Almost all "big" brothers and sisters can relate to feeling displaced by a new baby in the house, especially if they hoped for one gender and got the other! This lovable story about the impact the birth of a new baby can have on the older siblings is very tender and sensitive. Hoping for a baby sister she has already decided should be named Babka (a sweet chocolate coffee cake), Beryl is distraught when her much anticipated baby sister turns out to be a baby boy named Zachary. After spending some quality time with clever and intuitive Uncle Morty, Beryl and her younger brother Sam comes to realize that they really do have feelings for this new addition to the family. The story is written in simple language and broken into five short chapters making it a great choice for a budding reader. The soft colors of the illustrations add to the warmth this book creates. A recipe for Mama's award-wining cake, chocolate babka, is included at the end. 2004, Clarion Books, Ages 5 to 8.
—Nancy T. Braverman
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-Beryl wants a baby sister, a girl to have slumber parties with, a girl to name Babka after her mother's chocolate dessert. However, when the new baby arrives, it's another boy. To make matters worse, baby Zachary is getting way too much attention for Beryl's taste. Fortunately, just when the girl decides that the family isn't big enough for her and the new baby, too, Uncle Morty's understanding, ingenuity, and storytelling skills rescue the situation. This hilarious and warm story contains five short chapters and Mama's prize-winning recipe. Chess's spot art and full-page colorful cartoon illustrations add personality and humor to the characters. Ideal for sharing or reading alone, this story is a delight.-Julie Roach, Malden Public Library, MA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Beryl knows she will love, love, love her new baby sister, certain to be as sweet as a chocolate babka. But when her father calls her and her little brother Sam from the hospital and happily shouts "It's a boy!" she faces her worst nightmare: "Two baby brothers. Double trouble." This funny, heartwarming early chapter book about embracing (and rejecting) a new baby in the house has shades of Kevin Henkes's Julius, the Baby of the World and a charm all its own. As Beryl concocts a strategy to make baby Zachary disappear, Uncle Morty conjures some tricks of his own to help his niece and nephew accept the small intruder as a member of the family, a long line of "gorgeous genius" babies. In the end, Beryl decides she doesn't want to make baby Zach disappear after all. Chess's soft, rounded, dePaola-style illustrations are as warm, comical, and appealing as the story. A detailed Eastern European recipe for chocolate babka tops off an already enticing offering for the sibling-challenged. (Illustrated fiction. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618234899
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Victoria Chess is the illustrator of Good Night Dinosaurs . She has also illustrated many other successful picture books for children, including the popular Slugs by David Greenberg (Little, Brown). She lives in Warren, Connecticut.

Jane Breskin Zalben has written and illustrated many distinctive picture books, including Pearl's Eight Days of Chanukah and the best-selling Beni holiday series. She is also a cookbook writer, the author of six novels for older readers, and a painter of abstract art. The mother of two grown sons, she lives on Long Island, New York, with her husband, Steven.

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