What a wonderful blend of a story for babies and their siblings, and information for parents. The delightful illustrations of babies doing what babies do are rendered in watercolor, pastel, and pen and ink. They show a great deal of humor with respect and love for babies. Messy babies, crying babies, zooming babies, toddling babies, and even a baby with underpants on her head populate the pages. The book contains lots of Spanish, and shows babies of every race. The text for children simply describes the babies' activities. The text in blue, for adults, explains why babies do some of these things, and how to encourage them to explore their world. This is considered volume 2 of Growing Up Stories, following Hello Benny! What It's Like To Be A Baby, and preceding Sweet Jasmine! Nice Jackson! What It's Like To Be 2, by the same author and illustrator. 2003, Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division, Ages 1 to 6.
K-Gr 5-Including some simple Spanish dialogue, Harris tells about Maria's development in her second year. Such toddler achievements as turning on the television and learning to talk are illustrated with Emberley's cheerful cartoons done in pen, watercolor, and pastels. Accompanying text boxes discuss facets of toddler behavior in simple language. While the egocentricity of three- and four-year-olds precludes much interest in books about a younger child, and the story is too wordy for the very young, Maria! is a wonderful book to explain toddler behavior to older siblings and baby-sitters. The developmental text could also be helpful for teenage parents, who may be reluctant or unable to read the lengthy parenting tomes that are available.-Jane Barrer, Washington Square Village Creative Steps, New York City Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.