________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 3. . . .September 23, 2016


Buddy and Earl and the Great Big Baby. (Buddy and Earl; 3).

Maureen Fergus. Pictures by Carey Sookocheff.
Toronto, ON: Groundwood/House of Anansi, 2016.
32 pp., hardcover & pdf, $16.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55498-716-0 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-55498-717-7 (pdf).

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Meredith Cleversey.

**** /4



After Earl finished cheering, he turned to Buddy and said, “So! What’s a baby?”

Buddy was very surprised by the question.

“Is a baby something you drive around in?” asked Earl.

“No,” said Buddy confidently.

“Is a baby something you plug into the wall?” asked Earl.

“No,” said Buddy, a little less confidently.

“Is a baby something delicious to eat?” asked Earl, licking his lips.

“NO!” exclaimed Buddy in alarm.


Buddy and Earl are back again, this time discovering a new kind of creature—a baby!

     Buddy and Earl and the Great Big Baby is the third “Buddy and Earl” book written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Carey Sookocheff. In this new adventure, the dog and hedgehog duo muse about the purpose of babies, and they discover that babies like to explore, too.

     Fans of Buddy and Earl will enjoy this new addition to the series. Earl is curious to know what a baby is when he learns one is coming for a visit. Buddy tries to explain a baby to an initially excited Earl, but once the baby arrives, Earl is less impressed by the noisy and busy creature. However, once the baby escapes from its playpen and goes missing in the house, Earl leads an expedition to find and rescue the baby, learning along the way that babies aren’t as bad as he’d originally imagined.

     Buddy and Earl see the world quite differently than most humans do, and watching how they interact and view the baby’s actions is a lot of fun. For instance, when the baby is put in its playpen, Buddy and Earl think the baby’s been put into its cage, just like the cage Earl sleeps in at night. Earl even remarks at one point that babies and hedgehogs are quite similar because of their interesting smells and the fact they’re both small and adorable, and, as always, it’s amusing to shift perspectives and see that, in some ways, Earl is correct. The “Buddy and Earl” stories are wonderful at showing the imaginative ways in which the world can be viewed, and adding a baby to the already unusual mix of a dog and hedgehog pair makes for an even more chaotic and entertaining experience.

     Carey Sookocheff’s illustrations continue to highlight the two worlds of the story, such as showing both the dangerous lava pit Earl assumes is in the bedroom, and the unthreatening pile of red clothing actually laying on the bedroom carpet. The images support the text, showing both the simple and calm nature of the household as seen by human eyes and the exciting terrain of Buddy and Earl’s explorations.

     For fans of the series, and for anyone who loves stories told from a unique point of view, Buddy and Earl and the Great Big Baby is another fantastic read.

Highly Recommended.

Meredith Cleversey, a librarian in Cambridge, ON, loves to read, write, and live in a world of pure imagination.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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