Written By: Spike Lee & Tonya Lewis Lee
Illustrated By: Kadir Nelson
Baby seems to get into trouble everywhere she goes, drawing on walls, eating sand, and not sharing her ball. Before you begin reading about Baby, talk about the cover and illustrations with your child. If your child is not verbal, describe what you see by saying, “Look, here is a baby, just like you. She is sitting in the bathroom surrounded by lots of toilet paper. I think she pulled all of that paper off of the roll. We are going to read about Baby and all of the things that she does.” If your child is verbal, discuss what s/he sees on the cover by asking, “What do you see on the cover? What do you think Baby is doing?”
As You Read
Baby seems to get into more and more trouble as the day progresses. Point out the clock next to each line of text that shows what time Baby’s bad behavior takes place. Be sure to connect each action as you go along. Say, “At 7:43, Baby poured cereal all over her head and now, at 9:50, she is writing on the walls with crayons!” Point out different elements in the illustrations and talk with your child about what you both see. For younger children, simply state what you see in the illustrations by saying, “Baby stopped walking to look at a dandelion but her mommy wants her to keep walking. Baby really likes the dandelion. Do you like dandelions? You can blow on them and all of the seeds will float away. Let’s blow on a pretend dandelion. Good work!” Engage older children by saying, “Oh no! Baby is coloring all over the walls! What is she supposed to be coloring on? That’s right, she should be coloring on a piece of paper. What do you think she is trying to draw? What colors is she using?”
Baby doesn’t always exhibit the best behavior, so talk about how your child would have acted in these situations. Say, “Baby doesn’t want to share her ball. What would you do if you were Baby? What games could Baby and the little boy play if they shared the ball?” You can also say, “Baby’s mommy wants her to eat her peas. I ask you to eat your vegetables like peas and carrots too even if you may not want to. Why do mommies and daddies want kids to eat their vegetables? Do you eat your vegetables?”
Summarize and Interpret:
Ask simple questions about what happened in the story and then answer them yourself, giving your child a recap and getting him/her into the habit of thinking about the story once it is through. For older children, ask these questions to gauge his/her understanding of the story and it’s relevance in the real world:
Did you like that story?
What kinds of things did Baby do?
What did Baby want her mommy to do at bedtime? What do you like me to do when you go to bed?
Activity: Act Out The Story
Supplies: Ball, plastic container, water, bowl, some type of snack (ex. cereal), baby doll or toy, paper and coloring materials
Re-enact the story with your child by going through some of the activities that Baby does. Your little one may find it amusing to splash in the water or spill a few pieces of cereal, but that’s ok. Once you’re done, finish off the game with a kiss on the forehead like Baby’s mommy does at the end of the story.
- Put some cereal in a bowl for your child and say, “It’s snack time like in the story. Baby didn’t eat her cereal. What did she do? That’s right, she put it on her head. Let’s have snack time and eat this yummy snack.”
- Get a piece of paper and your coloring materials and say, “Baby colored on the walls but she shouldn’t have done that. She should have colored on a piece of paper. Let’s color a picture on this paper.”
- Fill a small container with water and put a toy or baby doll in it. Say, “Baby splashed all over the place while she was taking a bath. Let’s give this toy a bath and get it nice and clean.”
- Take a ball and say, “Baby didn’t want to share her ball but sharing is fun! Let’s play a game together with our ball.”