From the Mouths of Babes: Edwin Speaks Up by April Stevens
MRS. FINNEMORE WAS RACING AROUND THE HOUSE.
"Cloo Poop SHOE noogie fron KEY!" BABBLES BABY EDWIN..
HE WAS ALL DRESSED UP AND READY TO GO TO THE SUPERMARKET.
"OH, FOR PETE'S SAKE! THERE THEY ARE!"
Mrs. Finnemore, who presides absentmindedly over her busy brood of five, is all sixes and sevens, frantically searching for her car keys, as she tries to get her four older kids and baby Edwin into the station wagon for that outing dreaded by all moms--the critical grocery run with all the kids in tow. It's almost Baby Edwin's birthday, and along with the usual shopping list, she must remember the the necessaries for that special day.
At last retrieving her car key from young Fergus' shoe, she hustles the kids into the big blue Chrysler. Distracted by loading Edwin into his carseat, key in hand, she finally settles into the driver's seat and off they go to the store--with her handbag riding along on the the car's ample roof where she stuck it as she settled Edwin into the back seat.
"Figgy noo noo POCKY-BOOKY fropping ROOF!" EDWIN BABBLES.
"NOW, CHILDREN, WE ABSOLUTELY MUSTN'T FORGET THE SUGAR FOR EDWIN'S BIRTHDAY PARTY TOMORROW" SHE SAYS.
Mrs. Finnemore panics when she begins to unload the kids in the parking lot. Where is her pocketbook?
THE CHILDREN GROAN!
"Frigle dee ROOFY plank!" EDWIN SAID, KICKING HIS LITTLE FEET.
A nearby shopper, loading his groceries, points out the rooftop purse to the frantic Mrs. Finnemore, and the group finally enters the store. Edwin is plopped into the shopping cart seat as the other four quarrel about who gets to ride on the front.Mrs. Finnemore manages to remember the all-important blue-and-white box of sugar, but when she absentmindedly leaves the cart in one aisle to retrieve the sugar from another aisle, she thoughtlessly misappropriates someone else's cart, Left all alone, Edwin has to speak out.
"Coody pooper DO NO LEAVEY!" BABY EDWIN IMPLORES!
Luckily, Mrs. Lutzhammer is on her game that day and spots Mrs. Finnemore making off with her cart, with the special sugar safely inside, and Mrs. Finnemore is reunited with her cart and Edwin. But Edwin spots Mrs. Lutzhammer rolling her cart away with the sugar for his birthday cake still inside.
"Rootin papel cart NO NO SWEETY! Gimpin chalk lil wizzu SWEETN do a BYE BYE!"
Oblivious to Edwin's frantic babbling, Mrs. Finnemore mindlessly rolls the cart at last to the checkout. If there's going to be any birthday cake for Edwin, he's going to have to take matters into his own little hands. So while Mrs. Finnemore aimlessly chats with the clerk, Edwin climbs down and fetches the familiar blue-and-white box from its shelf and slips it into the cart just in time for the checker to ring it up. Whew!
Mrs. Finnemore again loads the kids into the car and with a sigh of relief, heads for home.
"TOMORROW IS BABY EDWIN'S BIRTHDAY! HE'S GROWING UP SO FAST!.
SOON HE'LL BE TALKING!"
"ROOFUM SWEET! ROOFUM SWEET!...." CALLS BABY EDWIN
But Baby Edwin's warning goes unheeded, as the family car rolls toward home with the grocery bag holding the sugar riding along (securely, we hope) on the roof.
April Steven's latest, Edwin Speaks Up (Schwartz & Wade, 2011) is a little gem of understated irony, coupled with the award-winning Sophie Blackall's piquant illustrations which catch just the right retro note for this very funny tale of a baby who's the only one paying attention to the task at hand. Booklist gives this one a coveted starred review, saying "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."