Title: Baby on Board, How Animals Carry Their Young
Author: Marianne Berks
Illustrator: Cathy Morrison
Publisher: Dawn, 2017
Genre: creative nonfiction
Themes: animal young, parental behavior in animals
When you were a baby, someone carried you.
Have you wondered what animal parents do?
There are no baby backpacks,
no wraps or straps or slings,
no seats to buckle kids in,
or many other things.
In rhyme and in prose, this picture book tells of the relationship between parents and offspring of a wide variety of animals, focusing specifically on how the babies are carried by mom and dad. It begins by asking kids how they were carried then contrasts strollers and backpacks with tucked in pouches or gripping backs etc.
Why I like this book:
Beginning with asking kids how they were carried while babies helps kids connect to the animal parent behaviors. I wondered if the mix of rhyme and prose would be distracting, but the author separates a simple rhyming couplet introducing the main means of parental carrying for that animal on one page then on the other side of the spread presents some simple facts in prose. It works. While animals like kangaroos or opossums were an obvious choice, Morrison includes some more unusual animals like the wolf spider and the anteater.
The children being carried in the opening spread are as diverse as the animals and I was very glad that loons and emperor penguins provided animals with dads as caregivers as well as moms. It’s a book that will encourage children to care for animals as they feel the same connection with their primary caregivers. All animals care for their young.
The illustrations are stunning, in a rich deep palette. The front cover is my favorite because of my otter obsession!
This is an informative and comforting read and a great asset to a school or classroom library.
Background information is also provided for each animals as well as extra resources. The book concludes with a matching game for children, and ideas for language arts and math as well as science.
Teachers will find that this book fits well with the primary grade science curriculum.
The publisher website provides free activities at https://dawnpub.com/our-books/baby-on….
If you missed my interview with the illustrator, Cathy Morrison, on Tuesday, here’s the link.