Many grownups will recognize the title as the comic carnal plea uttered by Lee (as Mars Blackmon) in his 1986 film, She's Gotta Have It. Now, the filmmaker and his wife/co-author, who have two children, have turned those words into a G-rated parental entreaty-directed at an inexhaustible toddler. "Go back to bed, / baby, please, baby, please./ Not on your head, / baby baby baby, please!" The large typography seems to writhe in vain supplication. The cherubic toddler, whose chocolate ringlets circle her head like restless electrons, tests her parents' patience in myriad ways, and Nelson (Just the Two of Us) has a knack for picking just the right angle. For the first of his handsome, burnished-toned acrylic spreads, readers share a toddler's eye-view. In the foreground are the feet of the prone, exhausted mother, a plastic ring from a stacking toy hanging from her left big toe, as a very wide awake baby plays horsey on her stomach. The clock on the VCR reads 3:01 a.m., and a bedtime video playing on the TV clearly makes no impact whatsoever. A tantrum when it's time to leave the playground, plus a chaotic meal and bath occasion other imploring phrases from the parents, whose presence Nelson suggests with just a foot or an arm outstretched to the youngster. But at book's end, the tables are turned: "Kiss me good night?/ Mama, Mama, Mama, please," says the girl, standing in the doorway of her mom and dad's room. The final wordless picture, a loving embrace, leaves no doubt of who loves this baby. Ages 2-5. (Nov.) Copyright 2002 Publishers Weekly Used with permission.
PreS-K-At 3:01 a.m., an exhausted parent begs a riled-up youngster to "Go back to bed, baby, please, baby, please." At a quarter to eight, the plea is for the child not to dump cereal on her head. Throughout the day, the toddler is asked to share a ball, eat some peas, and sleep tight. Baby is asked to not eat sand, be a tease, or splash. After being put to bed at 8:00 p.m., she comes into her parents' bedroom two hours later and asks, "Kiss me good night? Mama, Mama, Mama, please." The litany of pleas will strike a chord with parents and caregivers, and will amuse children with its repetition and rhyme. Bright, full-bleed illustrations evoke the child-centered mayhem of this frazzled yet loving family. Baby, with her caramel-colored skin and corkscrew curls, sometimes appears unnaturally proportioned, her head too large and her limbs contorted, but the overall effect is humorous and action-packed.-Anna DeWind Walls, Milwaukee Public Library Copyright 2002 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.