One of my favourite picture books from last year was Stephanie Blake’s Poo Bum!, published by the wonderful Gecko Press. It’s a book that kids immediately love (and end up repeating Simon’s favourite phrase) and divides adults (they either love it or hate it). Thanks to Gecko Press I have a Poo Bum badge that I wear with pride in the library, which makes a great talking point. Gecko Press have just published Stephanie Blake’s second book featuring Simon the rabbit, Stupid Baby, and it’s just as hilarious as Poo Bum!
In Stupid Baby, Simon has just gotten a new baby brother. Simon is always getting told off because he’s making too much noise. Of course, Simon doesn’t like his new brother at all and wants the ‘stupid baby’ to go back to where he came from. His parents tell him that the baby is here to stay, but he won’t stay forever will he? What a stupid baby!
Stupid Baby is a spectacular picture book! I loved Simon in Poo Bum and he is certainly on fine form in this book. He’s such an amusing character, who is pretty horrible, but loveable at the same time. Although he acts all tough and mean, he worries just as much as most kids. He’s scared of the dark and the wolves that are coming to get him, and he’s scared that his baby brother might stay forever. The text is simple, but the wonderful translation and the design of the text make the story special. The variation of the text size helps the reader to put the emphasis in the right place, whether it’s the Ka-boom! of the rocket or whispering around the teeny, tiny baby. Stephanie Blake’s illustrations are big, bold and bright (similar to Lucy Cousins’ illustrations) making them appealing to kids. There is no white space in Stupid Baby, every page is colourful. The bright red cover, with Simon in his superhero outfit, jumps off the shelf and shouts ‘READ ME!’ I love the page where Simon is worrying about all sorts of things, as his expression goes from worried to angry. I also love Simon’s wide-eyed expression when he’s worrying about the wolves.
The ending is unexpected and will have kids rolling around on the floor laughing. Get a copy of Stupid Baby now and meet the worst role model in the picture book world.