Baby Brains: The Smartest Baby in the Whole World


"Boastful parents who can laugh at themselves, as well as their cherished offspring, will find abundant chuckles in these pages." — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)

It’s never too early to start bringing up the smartest baby in the whole world. So thinks the expectant Mrs. Brains, who reads to the baby inside her tummy every night and plays music and language tapes to her baby during the day. And soon enough, Mr. and Mrs. Brains have their very own Baby Brains! He reads the ...

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"Boastful parents who can laugh at themselves, as well as their cherished offspring, will find abundant chuckles in these pages." — PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (starred review)

It’s never too early to start bringing up the smartest baby in the whole world. So thinks the expectant Mrs. Brains, who reads to the baby inside her tummy every night and plays music and language tapes to her baby during the day. And soon enough, Mr. and Mrs. Brains have their very own Baby Brains! He reads the paper, fixes the family car, and works as a doctor in the local hospital. Now even the space program is calling on him. Is there anything Baby Brains can’t do?

An International Reading Association Children’s Choice

A New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing Selection

A HORN BOOK Fanfare Selection

A Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices List Selection

An Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award Winner

A Junior Library Guild Selection


Even though the new baby of Mr. and Mrs. Brains is very intelligent, they realize that he is still just a baby.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Taking droll liberties, James (Little One Step) offers a sly send-up of parents who hype their children as la cr me de la cr me of cleverness. During her pregnancy, Mrs. Brains reads aloud and plays music and language CDs to "the baby inside her tummy," and she turns up the television when the news comes on. The day after she and her husband bring Baby Brains home from the hospital, the newborn reads the paper, fixes the car and announces he wants to go to school. Within days the infant is enrolled in medical school, and word of his brilliance spreads. Accepting an invitation to help with a space mission, the baby blasts off into outer space. There, while taking his first space walk, the tot looks at the "vast starlit sky" above and below him and wails, "I want my mommy!" Back at home, the wee one gets a bath, a tickle and a song from his parents and settles into the coddled routine of a typical baby-"except... on weekends... when he still liked to help out at the local hospital." A final image of him performing surgery makes for the perfect visual punch line. James's watercolor-and-ink renderings of the diminutive hero's extraordinary feats put an uproarious spin on the understated text. Boastful parents who can laugh at themselves, as well as their cherished offspring, will find abundant chuckles in these pages. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
This book about the smartest baby in the world is fun, fun, fun. The plot centers on the remarkable new baby born to Mr. and Mrs. Brains. Their pre-baby regimen included saturating the unborn child with literature, music, language, and even TV news. Thus at birth, Baby Brains is a genius. Right away he can read and go to school and after a few weeks he begins work as a doctor. Baby Brains easily fulfills the prestigious job of astronaut after only a weekend of training. Or does he? At this point the author presents readers with a humorous twist. When Baby Brains takes a space walk, and is asked for a comment he can only remark to the world, "I WANT MY MOMMY!" With this clever tale, James addresses the timely issue that many parents today believe their babies are geniuses. His ability to poke fun however will not put parents off. Instead, reading the book aloud or to oneself offers an uplifting experience. Illustrations of Baby Brains doing the remarkable complete this humorous package. Present the tale to preschoolers and primary graders to garner some happy responses. 2004, Candlewick Press, Ages 4 to 8.
—Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-Mr. and Mrs. Brains "wanted to make sure their baby was going to be very smart," so they read aloud, played music and languages, and turned up the news for the child in Mrs. Brains's tummy. Sure enough, Baby Brains is discovered reading the newspaper on his very first morning at home. He attends school the following day, announcing his desire to study medicine. In just two weeks, he begins his medical practice and is discovered by the press. When scientists invite him to join their next mission, the world watches as he walks in space. But he reacts to the immensity of space as any infant astronaut might, by wailing to Ground Control, "I want my mommy!" He's rushed home to hugs, warm baths, tickles, lullabies, and the life of a pretty normal infant-except on weekends, when "he still liked to help out at the local hospital." Beginning with the diaper-clad tot perusing a stack of books on the title page and closing with him at his laptop wearing his onesie, this tongue-in-cheek tale will tickle the funny bones of young listeners. The loose and playful lines of the watercolor-and-ink illustrations are used judiciously and to great effect; this economy applies as well to the carefully controlled and well-paced text. The perplexed and awed adults and the absurdly competent baby are perfectly silly and delightful. From the far reaches of space to the snuggly warmth of his welcome home, readers will enjoy the adventures of "the smartest baby in the whole world."-Carol Ann Wilson, Westfield Memorial Library, NJ Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
After Mrs. Brains exposes her son in utero to books, music, and TV news, newly born Baby Brains is reading the newspaper the morning after he comes home from the hospital, fixing the car that afternoon, and performing surgery within a few weeks. With results that parents who compulsively surround their diapered offspring with Baby Einstein products and such can only envy, what's left? A trip into space-but floating alone, high above the Earth, Baby Brains finds intellectual pleasure giving way to a more elemental need: "I want my Mommy!" James illustrates Baby Brains's brief career with lively, Quentin Blake-like cartoons featuring a high-domed toddler and pair of flummoxed-looking parents. Their anxiety changes to proud content when he reverts in the end to more baby-like behavior-except on weekends, that is, when he returns to the OR. Overachieving parents will enjoy this gentle poke in the ribs as much as will their doubtlessly brilliant progeny. (Picture book. 6-9, adult)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763636821
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/25/2007
  • Series: Baby Brains Series, #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 455,641
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.13 (w) x 11.06 (h) x 0.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Simon James is the author-illustrator of many acclaimed books for children, including LITTLE ONE STEP, THE BIRDWATCHERS, THE WILD WOODS, DAYS LIKE THIS, SALLY AND THE LIMPET, the Jake books, and LEON AND BOB, which was named a NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW Best Illustrated Book of the Year. Of BABY BRAINS, he says, "This story came along as many of my friends seemed to be having 'clever' babies of their own." Simon James lives in Devon, England.

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