Please, Baby, Please

Please, Baby, Please

4.7 31
by Spike Lee, Tonya Lewis Lee, Kadir Nelson

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From waking the entire house at five in the morning and wearing breakfast on their heads to making giant waves in the bath and refusing to go to sleep (without one more kiss), toddlers are always full of energy and surprises. Academy Award-nominated director and producer Spike Lee and his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, recall some of the "surprises" that came with


From waking the entire house at five in the morning and wearing breakfast on their heads to making giant waves in the bath and refusing to go to sleep (without one more kiss), toddlers are always full of energy and surprises. Academy Award-nominated director and producer Spike Lee and his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, recall some of the "surprises" that came with raising their own two children in this exuberant picture book that's perfect for family sharing. The Lees personally chose acclaimed artist (and father of two) Kadir Nelson to illustrate this book, and the resulting work -- a daring combination of warmth and vibrant color -- explodes with all the energy of childhood (and concludes with the patience, understanding, and unconditional love of being a parent).

Editorial Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Director and producer Spike Lee, with his wife Tonya Lewis Lee, team up with award-winning artist Kadir Nelson in this playful glimpse at one day in the life of a rambunctious toddler.

Through scenes that show an angelic, ringlet-haired baby being mischievous at different times of the day, an exhausted parental voice pleads with the tyke to stay out of trouble. When the clock hits 3:00 a.m. and the text calls, "Go back to bed, baby, please, baby, please," the frolicsome toddler is sitting on her sleeping mom's tummy, ready to play. At 7:45 a.m., "Not on your HEAD, baby baby baby, please!" shows her (of course) dumping a bowl full of cereal over herself, and later, at 12:30 p.m., the tot is shoveling sand into her mouth as the voice entreats, "Don't eat the sand, baby baby baby please." These shenanigans go on throughout the day, but at 10:00 p.m., a tired baby is done with trouble when she asks gently for a kiss goodnight, "Mama, Mama, Mama, please."

The Lees and Nelson have put together a right-on picture book that speaks to parents but will also have children laughing. The rhyming text changes and flows like a smooth melody, wonderfully complementing Nelson's oil illustrations, which give us snapshots of the antics from various angles. The girl herself will have readers cooing over her sweetness and groaning over the trouble she causes, and they'll feel assured that all is well at the end with Mom's tender kiss. A winsome read that's perfect for reading aloud and sharing. Matt Warner

Publishers Weekly
"Many grownups will recognize the title as the comic carnal plea uttered by Lee in his film, She's Gotta Have It. Now, Lee and his wife/co-author have turned those words into a G-rated parental entreaty-directed at an inexhaustible toddler," wrote PW. Ages 2-5. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan Attebury
Illustrations rendered in oil enhance this fast paced, fun-filled book for toddlers. With soft, yet vivid colors and realistic baby expressions, the illustrator increases the already lively text. Repeating rhyming patterns contain just enough variation to entertain the child listener as a grownup reads this book. Fun baby antics include dumping cereal on ones head, writing on the walls, not wanting to share, eating forbidden sand, throwing a fit, and the joy of discovering a ready-for-the-wind dandelion. These realistic everyday happenings are ones with which a toddler can relate. Parents will enjoy the clock preceding each simple piece of text since it depicts the progression of a day with baby. The large print text and size of the book are also a plus. The husband and wife authors have collaborated to offer a book that cries to be read again and again to a toddler. Add this board book to any preschool shelf or to your home library in a house with young children. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal
PreS-K-At 3:01 a.m., an exhausted parent begs a riled-up youngster to "Go back to bed, baby, please, baby, please." At a quarter to eight, the plea is for the child not to dump cereal on her head. Throughout the day, the toddler is asked to share a ball, eat some peas, and sleep tight. Baby is asked to not eat sand, be a tease, or splash. After being put to bed at 8:00 p.m., she comes into her parents' bedroom two hours later and asks, "Kiss me good night? Mama, Mama, Mama, please." The litany of pleas will strike a chord with parents and caregivers, and will amuse children with its repetition and rhyme. Bright, full-bleed illustrations evoke the child-centered mayhem of this frazzled yet loving family. Baby, with her caramel-colored skin and corkscrew curls, sometimes appears unnaturally proportioned, her head too large and her limbs contorted, but the overall effect is humorous and action-packed.-Anna DeWind Walls, Milwaukee Public Library Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Parents and caregivers will recognize the ritualistic pleading that takes place when spending the day with a toddler. Sounding like a broken record, a mother pleads with her daughter to share her toys, eat a balanced meal, and finally go to sleep. As she plays on her mother's tummy, up way past her bedtime (the clock radio shows 3:01 a.m.) her mother pleads, "Go back to bed, baby, please, baby, please." When she dumps the contents of her breakfast, "Not on your HEAD, baby baby baby, please!" Each page features an impish grin and impossibly beautiful eyes peeking out from under a tangle of perky curls, but the angelic expression does not change the fact that this little one is all devil. A tiny clock records the time of day at the beginning of the line of text on each double-paged spread, but it's the rambunctious tot who captures all of the focus. Vivid illustrations of this African-American family full of love and patience for their strong-willed daughter will evoke laughter as the parents attempt, with mixed results, to guide their charmer's behavior. Sure enough, the closing line turns the tables as the little girl asks for a kiss, ". . . Mama, Mama, Mama, please." Richly colored and meticulously detailed paintings highlight the tiny, but determined imp with curls that literally spring from her head. The repetitive text, sunny illustrations, and entirely familiar scenarios will make this a favorite of parents and children alike. (Picture book. 1-4)

Product Details

Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
10.28(w) x 10.36(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
2 - 5 Years

Meet the Author

Spike Lee is one of the most prominent and influential media figures today. His films include the critically acclaimed School Daze; Academy Award nominee Do the Right Thing; Malcolm X; Clockers; and 25th Hour. Born in Atlanta, Spike attended Morehouse College and NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where he earned his master of fine arts degree in film production. Spike and his wife are the authors of Please, Baby, Please, their first picture book with Simon & Schuster. They live in New York City with their two children.

Tonya Lewis Lee is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Virginia School of Law. As a children's television producer she has worked with Disney, Nickelodeon, and Noggin/The N, where she was the executive producer of the award-winning documentary I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education and the critically acclaimed miniseries Miracle's Boys. She is also the author of Gotham Diaries, her first novel.

Kadir Nelson is an award-winning American artist whose works have been exhibited in major national and international publications, institutions, art galleries, and museums. Nelson is the illustrator of many beloved, award-winning, and bestselling picture books including, We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, winner of the Coretta Scott King and Robert F. Sibert Award; Thunder Rose, written by Jerdine Nolen, which received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award; Ellington Was Not a Street, written by Ntozake Shange, which received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award; Hewitt Anderson’s Great Big Life, written by Jerdine Nolen, which won the 2005 Society of Illustrators Gold Medal; and Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya by Donna Jo Napoli called “stunning” by Kirkus Reviews in a starred review. He is also the illustrator of Deloris Jordan and Roslyn M. Jordan’s Salt in His Shoes and Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee’s Please, Baby, Please and Please, Puppy, Please. Kadir Nelson lives in Los Angeles.

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Please, Baby, Please 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
EmmyMS More than 1 year ago
Spike Lee & Kadir Nelson have truly out- done themselves. As a public school early childhood educator of developmentally delayed youngsters, I put this book on the top of a teacher's wish list. Even children who are developmentally 18 months will love the text and the illustrations cannot be beat. This book is simply a beauty and you won't regret its purchase.
Mary_Godwin More than 1 year ago
I bought this three years ago after trolling online bookstores for picture books with brown-skinned, curly-haired little girls who looked like my 2-year-old goddaughter. Best purchase ever! She LOVES it! She's not a reader, but soon chanted the words aloud with me; looks intently at the pictures, and now tries to read it to me. As she gradually learned to cooperate with her mom and teachers who wanted her to stop dawdling etc, she identified with the baby; and always she laughs with (slightly superior) glee when the baby innocently tries to dispose of her diaper in the toybox. Now she's figuring out what time it is, using the clocks in the book. Above all, she will listen to this book over and over, while she has very little patience with any other book that doesn't include Maisie or Dora. She's not a book-girl--doesn't get many books read to her at home. But she loves, loves loves this one. I now give it to friends' kids for early birthdays, and they love this one, too. Story, picture, and everything is wonderful. Thanks, Lees & Nelson! This one is a treasure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books to give two year olds. My daughter loved this book. She thought it was funny and she delighted in showing off her own knowledge of various rules as she told me what the baby should be doing instead. The tot in the story gets into all kinds of mischief throughout the day, but in the end there is a moment of pure sweetness that only comes from a young child. It's a reassuring message of unconditional love for both children AND parents as they work through the Terrible Twos. As your toddler grows, it's a good early reader book (lots of sight words and repetition), and later you can use the clocks on each page to help teach time. Last but not least, the illustrations are gorgeous!
YolandaCT More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely adorable. The simple sentiments are reminiscent of what it's really like to have a small child. This is usually one of my go to book titles when purchasing gifts for expecting or newly arrived bundles of joy. Yolanda
Landons_Mom More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my son when he was about 18 months old. He is now 3 and has memorized the book enough to "read" it to me at bedtime word for word. We absolutely love it!
ShortyBrown More than 1 year ago
Describing exactly how a day with a toddler goes, this book is a fun way for your child to see it from the outside. My daughter loves to say, "Please, baby please" now and we can reference the book during those difficult toddler times. A great addition to our daily reading routine!
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
A nice board book for little hands to handle with beautiful color illustrations to hold the "little ones" and "big ones" attention. And the simple text will allow young learners to remember and probably say some of the words as you read to them. *Fun. *Entertaining.
booklover2000 More than 1 year ago
This book is funny and cute. My 2 year old loved it since she was 1 and still enjoys it. Every toddler should enjoy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We absolutely love this story! The pictures are amazing and the story line is sweet, funny, and true at the same time. We read this story a few times a day and both I and my 1 year old son giggle every time!
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wordscrafter More than 1 year ago
I checked out 2 of Spike Lee's books a couple years ago to read to my classroom. I fell instantly in love with the illustrations (they're so expressive) and the simple storyline, which can be very interactive with small children. Both (the other is Please, Puppy, Please!) are fun and engaging. Very beautifully done.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have you ever begged your kids to go back to sleep or thought that baby needs a nap? Well you can identify with what this baby gets into. Even though the child is told ¿no¿ to this or ¿don¿t¿ do that, you will find yourself laughing at the clever illustrations and expressions. The kids at the daycare believe that everything in the book could happen and realized that the clock depicted in each scene proves that naps are necessary. Now that is a positive reinforcement for parents. The illustrations are phenomenal ¿ the details, color, and mischief depicted ¿ will fill your heart with joy as well as provide discussion topics with your kids.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a teacher in a pre-kindergarten class. I read this book to my class two years ago. The children requested that story several times a day which I was happy to re-read to them. My aide is a natural at reading and took it to a higher level. Now the children ask if Ms. Diane would read it! I've taught two classes since I purchased this book and each class has the same reaction. Ms. Diane love this book too!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My daughter loves this book. She makes a connection with what is happening in the pictures, and verbalizes what the baby should not be doing. It is great for language development, and learning to take things out of context. We use it in my classroom, and my 2 year old LOVES it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of our households FAVORITES!!! It touches on what all toddlers deal with, and my 2 year old has this book memorized and reads it 20 times a day
Guest More than 1 year ago
A cute book with a peek into an adorable baby's day. Endearing illustrations will draw children in while reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is one of the cutiest books I have ever read. I bought this book for my son when he was about 1 1/2 years old and we still read it today and he is now 4. At first he really couldnt pronounce the words but tell a story in his own words but as he got older he can know read the book to me!It is good to have books out like this because it makes kids want to read which will better themselves in the future, without reading they won't get far. Thanks Spike Lee, keep them coming...........
Guest More than 1 year ago
The story and pictures are wonderful
Guest More than 1 year ago
My 1 1/2 year old daughter asks for this book by name. We first found the story on a web site and she loved it so much that I had to find the physical book. It has wonderful illustrations. Children and parents alike will relate to this day in the life of a toddler story. Simple words make reading and understanding the story easy for little ones.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My 2 yr old daughter loves this book. Every night she brings me the book and says 'baby please baby please' I absolutely love this book and look forward to many more. The pictures are also wonderful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had my auntie buy this book for my daughter for christmas last year when she was a little over one and she still loves it! It has grown with her...she was first in awe over the illustrations. Later, she was able to point out the 'ball' and the 'bubbles' and now she utters the words 'pease babee babee'. This is a wonderful book and I wish they would write more.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My 16-month old loves this book. Everyday he brings it to me to read. It is a must have.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book based on a familiar phrase, to which both children and parents can relate. My children (4 and 1) also love the soothing repetition and rich illustrations. I should mention the original book became so worn, I just purchased our second copy!