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Catch That Baby! by N. Coffelt

Coffelt, Nancy.  Catch That Baby! Toronto: Aladdin, 2011. Print.

There comes a point in every toddler’s life when he or she just needs to make a break for it and run away from Mom; if naked, after a bath, so much the better.  Nancy Coffelt captures that moment in this delightful book.  Rudy tosses his towel at the dog, shouts, “No dressed” and the romp begins.  Mom chases, clothing in hand, and is joined in successive panels by other family members all of whom try, but not too hard, to “catch that naked baby”.

This is primarily a picture book.  Award-winning illustrator Scott Nash has drawn cartoon style illustrations, with large blocks of bright colour, little visual detail and speech bubbles.   The simple presentation is perfect for toddlers, who will be able to completely relate to “Nudie Rudy” pelting around the house in the buff, although most pre-readers will not end up swinging from vines in the conservatory.

Young children will enjoy the repetition in the little bit of text on each page and will love finding Rudy on each page, particularly on pages where those silly adults cannot see him, even though he is so obviously in plain sight that a baby could find him.

Catch That Baby! is a gem that will become a favourite read aloud book in many families.  It would make an excellent gift for a toddler and belongs in every public library collection.

Highly recommended:  4 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Sandy Campbell

Sandy is a Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Alberta, who has written hundreds of book reviews across many disciplines.  Sandy thinks that sharing books with children is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give.