Edwin Speaks Upby April Stevens, Sophie Blackall
Here's a book that will get the whole family laughing, illustrated by the Caldecott Medal winner Sophie Blackall. When a large family of ferrets and their precocious baby take a chaotic trip to the supermarket, mom can't keep track of the groceries, the shopping cart . . . or even the kids! Baby Edwin tries to help, but everyone thinks he's just babbling. Little do they know that he really has all the answers. Full of fun-to-say nonsense words this is a perfect storytime book and a great read-aloud.
“Blackall’s softly colored illustrations manage to make even stretched-out rats look adorable.”
Starred review, Booklist, May 15, 2011:
"Stevens’ spot-on story about every mother’s nightmare, the group grocery-store shop, is matched by Blackall’s delicious art...This is a book that’s clever in every sense of the word: skillful, original, and witty."
Starred review, School Library Journal, July 1, 2011:
"Don’t miss this hilarious shopping trip."
Edwin's mother is the epitome of 1950s femininity—smartly dressed, elegantly coiffed and preoccupied with adult concerns throughout this entertaining supermarket romp.
Oblivious to the rambunctious antics of Finney, Fergus, Franny and Fiona, when Mrs. Finnemore finally loads her ferret family into her sleek, powder-blue Chrysler (with anachronistic seatbelts and a car seat), she also misses the meaning of Baby Edwin's earnest babble. Therein lies the satisfaction for those who do attend to his speech bubbles. Had his mother been concentrating, she, too, would have realized that "Gloo poop SHOE noogie froo KEY" meant the car keys were in her son's shoe or that "Gimpin chalk lil wiz um SWEETIN' do a bye bye," combined with Edwin's endearingly outstretched arms, signaled that the sugar she was purchasing for his birthday cake was disappearing in someone else's cart. Blackall's highly patterned watercolor, gouache and ink scenes, infused with pink and turquoise, contrast with the white balloons surrounding his words—a choice that focuses attention. Stevens' inclusion of potty words in the phrases will add to young listeners' surprise and delight. They will cheer Edwin on as he patiently takes matters into his own hands, occasionally glancing winsomely at his audience, even as his mother wonders when he will begin talking.
This tongue-in-cheek tale of birth-order blues is a confection as sweet as it is silly.(Picture book. 4-7)
Meet the Author
APRIL STEVENS is the author of Waking Up Wendell, which received two starred reviews and was a 2008 Bank Street Best Book of the Year. Kirkus Reviews called it "as absolutely charming as a sunny morning can be." She also wrote an adult novel, Angel, Angel.
SOPHIE BLACKALL received the Caldecott Medal for Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick. She is the illustrator of A Fine Dessert by Emily Jenkins, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; The Mighty Lalouche by Matthew Olshan, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year; and Ruby's Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges, an Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award winner. She has also illustrated the Mr. and Mrs. Bunny series by Polly Horvath and the bestselling Ivy and Bean series by Annie Barrows. A native of Australia, she lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at SophieBlackall.com
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