The Wicked Big Toddlah

The Wicked Big Toddlah

3.5 2
by Kevin Hawkes
     
 

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Absolutely nothing exciting happens in Maine . . . nothing, that is, except for the birth of one giant baby. "That's one wicked big toddlah you got there!" exclaims Uncle Bert . . . and so Toddie is named.Toddie's a baby just like any other . . . sort of. The thing is, he's big—really big. That means really big diapers, really big teeth,

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Overview

Absolutely nothing exciting happens in Maine . . . nothing, that is, except for the birth of one giant baby. "That's one wicked big toddlah you got there!" exclaims Uncle Bert . . . and so Toddie is named.Toddie's a baby just like any other . . . sort of. The thing is, he's big—really big. That means really big diapers, really big teeth, really big everything. From new booties that wear out the knitter to a bath in the ocean (it's fun to play with boats!), Toddie goes through all the stages of baby's first year . . . it's just a little different for Toddie.Kids will laugh out loud as they see Toddie get into more and more trouble. . . it's time for giant laughs all around!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In this amiable tall tale, Hawkes (Library Lion) introduces a Paul Bunyan-esque baby who wreaks havoc with lobster pots and playfully blows sailboats across a bay. On "the snowiest day of the year,"an overloaded stork struggles to deliver an enormous parcel to Maine. The next spread shows a plump, gargantuan infant arm reaching across a hospital room as baby's Toddie's new parents and three siblings gape. "Uncle Bert whistled, 'That's a wicked big toddlah ya got theyah, Jessie!' " Subsequent spreads visualize Toddie's early months with his doting family in the Maine woods. He comes home from the hospital on a flatbed truck, dressed in an enormous red onesie and "booties that Mimmie Newcomb had knitted for him" (shellshocked Mimmie has wrapped her hands in bandages after her knitting ordeal). At diaper-changing time, family members don white toxic-cleanup jumpsuits and man a fire hose out on the lawn. Soon Toddie learns to speak and greets his relatives "in his biggest Maine voice," saying, "hihowaahya?!!" Kid-pleasing scenes imagine Toddie bathing in the bay with fishing boats as toys, devouring an entire ice cream truck and being covered in fresh maple syrup after squeezing a tree trunk (and getting forest creatures, tin buckets, lumberjacks and relatives stuck to himself in the process). Hawkes's droll paintings capture the state's changing seasons and crisp blue skies, while poking affectionate fun at rural living: the family bookshelf covers "Huntin'," "Fishin' " and "Sailin'," and many locals sport red-and-black hunting caps with earflaps. Readers needn't be from Maine to revel in the regional colloquialisms and slapstick gags that invigorate this larger-than-life story.Ages 4-8. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2
One snowy day in Maine, the stork delivers an enormous newborn to an astounded family. Narrated in a laconic New Englander's style by his sister, this episodic look at the gigantic baby's first year of life is milked for every ounce of its illustrative worth. Diaper changing requires hazmat suits, fire hoses, and talcum powder dispensed via helicopter; knitting hats and booties for the nipper sends a kindly lady with bandaged hands into catatonia; real boats become the toys in each ocean bath, and eating ice cream means swallowing the truck as well as its wares. Each lush spread in Hawkes's characteristic style uses space and perspective to particular advantage as it focuses on the wicked big toddlah. The many bits of visual humor will keep youngsters poring back and forth over the pages. Though the plot is thin, the sheer exuberance of the pictures and title character will keep children's imaginations stoked with the big-time possibilities of life as a giant.
—Marge Loch-WoutersCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Setting and plot play equal roles here, as Hawkes pays tribute to his home state of Maine in the course of a big sister's affectionate account of her outsized little brother's first year or so. Big enough at birth to pick up the narrator in one hand-and to inspire the titular observation from an awed relative-Toddie is transported home on a flatbed truck, gets his diaper changed by crane, pops buckets of blueberries and maple sap like jellybeans and sends guests fleeing at Thanksgiving with a gargantuan "hihowaahya?!!" Towering Bunyan-like over seasonally changing landscapes, Toddie generally shows a cheerful mien, though his typically baby-like antics usually cause the diminutive figures around him to scurry, and in the last scene he's shown blissfully holding up a parent in each hand for kisses on the cheek. For storytime pairing, Kevin Henkes's Biggest Boy (1995), illus by Nancy Tafuri, makes a similarly satisfying fantasy for toddlahs and post-toddlahs alike, and Hawkes himself explored the opposite conceit (i.e., gigantic parents) in his illustrations for Lynne Bertrand's New Hampshire-based Granite Baby (2005). (Picture book. 3-5)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375924279
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
06/12/2007
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
9.24(w) x 12.29(h) x 0.45(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Kevin Hawkes is the illustrator of many well-loved books for young readers, including My Little Sister Ate One Hare, My Little Sister Hugged an Ape, both by Bill Grossman, and And to Think that We Thought that We'd Never Be Friends by Mary Ann Hoberman. This is the second picture book that he has both written and illustrated. He lives in Gorham, Maine.

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