A funny, surrealist take on the classic baby delivery story
Baby delivery is a tricky business: When the top-notch stork is not available, a substitute has to step in. But a delicious-looking fish distracts him, and he misplaces the baby en route. As one animal encounter leads to another, the baby travels the world: up to the North Pole atop a whale, to Australia with migrating geese, and to the Brisbane Zoo by kangaroo, before finally landing at home.
In Sometimes It's Storks, L. J. R. Kelly and the Brothers Hilts offer a whimsical tale of animals and adventure, proposing a creative answer to the puzzling question of where babies come from.
"The day was set; we called New York,/ and they decreed you'd come by stork." Kelly (Blanket & Bear, a Remarkable Pair) runs with the age-old legend of baby-delivering storks as two parents describe, in doggerel verse, their child's circuitous path to reach them a lost luggage story on steroids. The stork puts the baby down for a moment, "far too close to a thieving croc,/ who floated you away downstream/ to give you to his friend the bream." Colored in saturated primary hues, the Hilts brothers' (Seaver the Weaver) graphic, printlike spreads offer a hide-and-seek game as readers look for the blue, jug-eared baby and the stork, following nervously at a distance. Eventually, the baby arrives at its parents' doorstep with an explanatory letter: "This package from the Brisbane Zoo/ contains something owned by you." The chain of animal handoffs is drawn out, but the ridiculousness of the effort is part of Kelly's story's appeal, as is the idea of parents with enough creative moxie to spin such a wild tale. Ages 3 5.