Sunday 13 May 2012

Book Review: Super Baby and Ted and the Cotsville Kids

Super Baby and Ted and the Cotsville Kids by Jennifer Bates, illustrated by Luke Watson (
PB Boxed set of six: $29.95
ISBN 9780987121400
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

This is a great series for pre-school children with a significant overall theme – child safety awareness. Over thirty years in the making with a big stop along the way, the series has finally made its way into the world. Jennifer Bates started with an idea that came to her lips as a form of entertainment when her children were very young. It has evolved into a significant project aimed at protecting children from the dangers that surround them daily. But this cannot be done without  adult awareness.

There are many important themes in this set of six books. The need to supervise young children while they are at play, around water, when playing close to roads, the positioning of furniture near windows or other danger areas, the danger of stairs, chemicals and cleaning fluids being high or locked away. Responsible pet care by children is also addressed, as is the importance of not taking what doesn’t belong to you.

Through the situations that the characters get into, the reader/adult, is told and shown by Super Baby, what can happen when supervision, the preoccupation with other things, and the lack of vigilance, is absent. The interaction between child and adult, the reiteration and explanation of the whys and hows, will serve to inform and refresh the memory of both the reader and the listener.

Super Baby's motto is ‘A Safe Baby is a Happy Baby’, and to this end she has stayed true to the characters she created using the original classical images that were born that time long ago. They are: Super Baby and his sidekick Ted the bear; babies Thomas and Kate, Andrew and his dog Smudge, Jaxon and Dudley - best friends but different in every way; the little Aboriginal girl Zoe and her cat Furnella that doesn’t really like playing, and the bully Sammy Snatchet who also takes things that don’t belong to him.

They are all gorgeous and endearing characters. The endless source of safety information will certainly bring more books to series once the interest they deserve is fired up. The books are also available through Kidsafe WA, and Sids and Kids WA. 

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