James, Simon. Baby Brains. Candlewick Press, 2004. ISBN 0763625078. $15.99. unpaginated Reviewer: Laura Wadley Reading Level: All Rating: Excellent Genre: Humorous fiction; Subject: Humor-juvenile fiction; Babies-juvenile fiction; Book--Reviews; Mr. and Mrs. Brains are anxious to influence the intelligence of their unborn baby, so they read to him, play classical music and language tapes, and turn up the television when the news is on. When Baby Brains is born, he exceeds their expectations. On the morning of his first day home he reads the newspaper, in the afternoon repairs the car, and in the evening says his first words--"I'd like to go to school tomorrow." Shortly, Baby Brains is invited to become an astronaut doctor, and while floating alone in Outer Space, he gets lonesome for his mother and begins to cry. From then on, Mr. and Mrs. Brains give Baby Brains warm baths, tickle him, and sing him to sleep, safely at home on earth. Baby Brains is an ever-so-gentle satire on pushing young children too hard to succeed, and on the importance of preserving childhood experience, even for the "scathingly brilliant" youngster. James' illustrations are charming and disarming, a perfect complement to the delightful text.
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