Tuesday, September 16th, 2008
Book Review: Baby, Come Out!
The year was 1972 and that accolade comes to us from the author’s own website. It was her first of 29 children’s books. She can be so bold because 30 years later Baby, Come Out! is still going strong, now available in eight languages. My daughter checked out a copy from her preschool library.
The story begins with a mother going about an idyllic daily routine as she talks to her unborn baby. What’s different is that we see the baby inside and she talks back.
"I don’t want to be born. I am staying right here," the baby declares.
Uh oh. The mother’s family, one-by-one, tries to coax and cajole the baby to come out. The daughter yells, "COME OUT!" The brother says, "Come out, and I’ll give you a nickel!" The grandparents even try. Each time, the baby has various reasons why she’s not going anywhere.
Finally, the father comes home. One-by-one the dad kisses his family members, and then kisses his wife’s tummy.
"Hey, what is going on?"
"I’m kissing my family. And here’s one for you."
"I don’t feel anything."
"No, not yet. But you will, when you come out."
"HERE I COME!"
The baby raises her arms and legs and smiles, like she’s going to fall through a laundry chute.
A doctor rushes to the house, and in the next scene the baby is out and being embraced, and then kissed by each family member.
The story continues for a few more pages, fast-forwarding through scenes of family harmony and ends with the baby-turned-toddler getting a kiss from her mom.
It’s a perfect story for an older child awaiting the birth of a sibling. It helps the child visualize the baby inside her mother, and as my wife says, anyone who’s been pregnant knows babies respond to sound.
What dad doesn’t appreciate a father getting the elusive limelight in a children’s story? And Baby, Come Out! would make a timely gift for any mother who is going past her due date. It’s a sweet book.
Our 1984 library copy has black and white illustrations, but the latest edition is in color. Find it at Amazon.