Baby Clown (Hardcover)
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An award-winning author and a Caldecott Medalist introduce an adorable new circus star — who won’t stop wailing!
When Frieda and Boffo Clown have a baby, everyone in the circus is over the moon. But there is just one problem: Baby Clown won’t stop crying! Frieda and Boffo try everything: putting on their silliest faces, driving him around in their tiny car. They even try taking off his red nose and big shoes. But that just makes Baby Clown cry more. Can Frieda and Boffo turn his little clown frown upside down in time for the sold-out show? Kara LaReau deftly juggles wit and warmth in this hilarious nod to parental persistence, while Matthew Cordell’s big-top-bright illustrations bring Baby Clown and his circus family to humorously frazzled life. Older siblings, in particular, will step right up to this applause-worthy picture book, joining Baby Clown in many a heartfelt “WAAAAH!”
About the Author
Kara LaReau is the author of many picture books for young children, including Ugly Fish and Otto: The Boy Who Loved Cars, both illustrated by Scott Magoon. She is also the author of the chapter books The Infamous Ratsos, The Infamous Ratsos Are Not Afraid, and The Infamous Ratsos: Project Fluffy, all illustrated by Matt Myers. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.
Matthew Cordell is the Caldecott Medal–winning author-illustrator of Wolf in the Snow, as well as many other books, including King Alice and Wish. Matthew Cordell lives in Illinois.
In the grand tradition of Marla Frazee's The Boss Baby (2010), Kate Beaton's King Baby (2016), and others, a pair of overwhelmed new parents navigate their infant's attempts to communicate...Both amusing and endearing; caregivers and close acquaintances of newborns will feel seen—and heard.
Geisel Honor Book author LaReau's understated text highlights the frustrating mysteries of early infancy, leaving Caldecott Medal winner Cordell to reveal the situation's inherent humor. Using ink and watercolor, he portrays the characters as suitably goofy (the performers wear costumes and makeup throughout), while still remaining human in their desperate attempts to comfort their newborn...Families with colicky younger siblings will no doubt recognize this behavior, and look forward to a hopefully quieter future.
Even clowns may find themselves rearing a fussy child, but all is not lost: communities can pitch in, and children can find their way. And when all else fails, try thunderous applause.
Full of silliness to enjoy in both art and text, the story may resonate on another level with families who have known the struggle of settling a screaming infant.
—The Horn Book
Cordell’s scribbly ink and watercolor gives the characters lanky, exaggerated features and the circus a wild, quirky backdrop to Baby Clown’s colicky behavior; in spite of the silly setting and events, older siblings will recognize the struggle Baby Clown’s parents face as they attempt to tamp down Baby Clown’s incessant tears.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books