The Wicked Big Toddlah
Absolutely nothing exciting happens in Maine . . . nothing, that is, except for the birth of one giant baby. "That's one wicked big toddlah you got there!" exclaims Uncle Bert . . . and so Toddie is named.Toddie's a baby just like any other . . . sort of. The thing is, he's big—really big. That means really big diapers, really big teeth, really big everything. From new booties that wear out the knitter to a bath in the ocean (it's fun to play with boats!), Toddie goes through all the stages of baby's first year . . . it's just a little different for Toddie.Kids will laugh out loud as they see Toddie get into more and more trouble. . . it's time for giant laughs all around!
In this amiable tall tale, Hawkes (Library Lion) introduces a Paul Bunyan-esque baby who wreaks havoc with lobster pots and playfully blows sailboats across a bay. On "the snowiest day of the year,"an overloaded stork struggles to deliver an enormous parcel to Maine. The next spread shows a plump, gargantuan infant arm reaching across a hospital room as baby's Toddie's new parents and three siblings gape. "Uncle Bert whistled, 'That's a wicked big toddlah ya got theyah, Jessie!' " Subsequent spreads visualize Toddie's early months with his doting family in the Maine woods. He comes home from the hospital on a flatbed truck, dressed in an enormous red onesie and "booties that Mimmie Newcomb had knitted for him" (shellshocked Mimmie has wrapped her hands in bandages after her knitting ordeal). At diaper-changing time, family members don white toxic-cleanup jumpsuits and man a fire hose out on the lawn. Soon Toddie learns to speak and greets his relatives "in his biggest Maine voice," saying, "hihowaahya?!!" Kid-pleasing scenes imagine Toddie bathing in the bay with fishing boats as toys, devouring an entire ice cream truck and being covered in fresh maple syrup after squeezing a tree trunk (and getting forest creatures, tin buckets, lumberjacks and relatives stuck to himself in the process). Hawkes's droll paintings capture the state's changing seasons and crisp blue skies, while poking affectionate fun at rural living: the family bookshelf covers "Huntin'," "Fishin' " and "Sailin'," and many locals sport red-and-black hunting caps with earflaps. Readers needn't be from Maine to revel in the regional colloquialisms and slapstick gags that invigorate this larger-than-life story. Ages 4-8.