Monday, September 26, 2011

Edwin Speaks Up

Edwin Speaks Up. April Stevens. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall. 2011. Random House. 40 pages.

Mrs. Finnemore was racing around the house.
"Gloo poop SHOE noogie froo KEY," Baby Edwin was babbling. He was all dressed and ready to go to the supermarket.
"Mommmmmy," Finney whined. "Can't we just go?"
Suddenly Mrs. Finnemore stopped short.
"Oh, for Pete's sake, there they are!" she said, and she reached into Fergus's shoe on the hall table and pulled out her car keys.

Baby Edwin, the youngest of five Ferret children in the Finnemore family, can't talk yet, so everyone thinks. But if he can't talk, why does he have all the answers?! Time and time and time again his babbling reveals that he is much more OBSERVANT than his distracted mama. And he does try to help her out all he can. For example, when she loses her pocket book, she just can't see how helpful Edwin is being when he says: "Figbutton noo noo POCKY BOOKY froppin ROOF."

So Edwin Speaks Out is a picture book about a family trip to the grocery store. Mrs. Finnemore is taking all five children to the grocery store with her. And she's told everyone to remind her to buy sugar so she can make Edwin a birthday cake. Well, of course one thing after another after another distracts her from the task at hand, and well, they are almost out of the store when....

Will Edwin finally get everyone's attention?! Will Edwin get the recognition he deserves?!

I honestly don't know how I feel about this one. I haven't read it aloud yet; I haven't given it an audience. And Edwin's babble could prove funny or amusing especially when read aloud. But the book definitely is a bit odd as well. I've seen really, really, really odd and peculiar books--this isn't that odd. But it's not quite your usual picture book either. A scatterbrained mom who just doesn't have it together--at all. And a babbling baby that can be a charmer.

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 2 out of 5
Total: 5 out of 10

© 2011 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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