Tuesday 27 June 2017

Baby Band

Baby Band by Diane Jackson Hill, illustrated by Giuseppe Poli (New Frontier Publishing) HB RRP $24.99  ISBN 9781925059779

Reviewed by Rebecca Newman

When a new baby arrives in apartment 8A his crying annoys everyone on level 8. Then he discovers the joy of crashing together pots and pans. In their separate apartments each neighbour contributes their own sound to the baby’s pots-and-pans performance. The formerly reclusive neighbours finally fling open their doors and shimmy to the apartment block’s rooftop to play together in a makeshift band.

Poli’s delightful illustrations include musical quirks for the observant reader. (I particularly liked the treble clef in the street light’s frame, and the manuscript paper on the outside walls of the building.)

The endpapers give us the story in miniature — at the front we see the neighbours at a park, enjoying the day but not interacting with each other. At the end of the book the endpapers show the same park with the neighbours jamming together (including the noisy baby, pan in hand) and dancing.

Baby Band is great to read aloud.

About the reviewer: Rebecca Newman is a children’s writer and poet. When she’s not writing or reviewing, she is kept busy as the managing editor at Alphabet Soup’s website. rebeccanewman.net.au

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