Hey, Mom! When's Dinner? Seven Hungry Babies by Candace Fleming
SEVEN HUNGRY BABIES OPEN THEIR BEAKS WIDE. "FEED US, FEED US!" THE LITTLE ONES CRIED.
"OF COURSE, MY PRECIOUS CUDDLE FLUFFS," MAMA BIRD COOED.
"I'LL FLY TO THE TALL GRASS TO FIND YOU SOME FOOD!!
FLAPPA-FLAP, SWOOP, SWOOP, ZOOM ZOOM. YUM!
But mothers' work is never done, and as Mama Bird returns with a different beakful of bird chow from every foraging place she knows--meadow, orchard, and schoolyard--she manages to satisfy just one chick, only to find another wide awake and with beak wide open, begging. So when she at last concludes the countdown and satisfies the seventh nestling and all are dozing off at last, she heaves a sign of well-deserved relief. Her work here is done--for the moment.
SEVEN QUIET BABIES FINALLY NAP IN THE NEST.
"AH," COOED MAMA BIRD, "NOW I GET TO--
"PEEP, PEEP, PEEP!" SEVEN HUNGRY CHICKS OPEN THEIR BEAKS WIDE.
"OH, NO, NOT THIS TIME!" MAMA CHIRPS... "IT'S DADDY'S TURN TO FLY!"
Filled with humor and playful wordplay, Candace Fleming's latest, Seven Hungry Babies (Atheneum, 2010) sets off its bright, witty illustrations with delightful text design. The words soar, sweep, swoop, and flap across the pages like, well, Mama Bird on the wing, while Eugene Yelchin gives his bird family witty expressions--the babies' confident demands, Mama's loving and finally exhausted determination, and Daddy Bird's quizzical look when he realizes that he is now on duty--which will elicit chuckles. This one works on several levels--as a simple funny story, as a counting up and down book, as a tribute to mothers, and as a subtle statement on the value of both Mama and Daddy in a real two-parent family.