Candace Fleming
This is the Baby
Melanie Kroupa Books, 2004
ages 4 to 8
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This is the Baby
written by Candace Fleming
illustrated by Maggie Smith

This is the diaper, often a mess,
that goes on the baby who hates to be dressed. 
“No! No! Nooo!”

Take one toddler who can't stand getting dressed. Add a mother who is determined to dress baby. The result is a laugh-filled struggle as this mommy uses all her ingenuity and powers of persuasion to get baby into diaper, T-shirt, sweater, and many layers of winter clothing. But just when she thinks she's succeeded, baby peels everything off and happily struts, naked once again. Yes! Yes! Yes!

Witty pictures full of affection reinforce the high spirits of this comic battle of wills so familiar to parents—and toddlers—everywhere.

Awards and Honors
Miami Herald Best Book 2004
Nick Jr. Family Magazine Best Toddler Book of 2004

Read the Reviews
Any parent who's ever wrestled a recalcitrant, wriggling child into his clothes will smile in sympathy with this patient and playful mother who decides to use lighthearted distraction as a means to get duds like “the sweater, itchy and hot/that covers the T-shirt,/wrinkled a lot/that snaps over the diaper,/often a mess,/…on[to] the baby/who hates to be dressed.” And even though mom does seem to succeed, and even to coax the glimmer of a grin out of her grumpy little guy, you can just bet that he is determined not to stay dressed for long. “No! No! Nooo!” Smith's naive and rosy-cheeked characters, cozy textures, and crayon-box colors are a perfect accompaniment to Fleming's well-constructed, cumulative, “House That Jack-Built” patterned story that positively insists on reader interaction, whether one-on-one, when it's fun to hunt for the endpaper-pictured elements that appear throughout, or with a great big group, who will giggle and grin and surely join in the oh-so-familiar game (which would make for wonderful flannelboard fun, too). Add this pleasing piece to your accumulation of storytime tales.

Fleming and Smith show the professional wrestler in every mom in this picture-book dramatization of getting a toddler dressed. Baby disdains dressing in layers, but Mom is determined to top off the diaper with a “sweater, itchy and hot,” “jeans, stiff in the knee,” and “boots, pinchy and tight.” While Fleming's text narrates the battle of wills to the rhythm of “The House That Jack Built,” Smith's artwork shows Baby squirming and struggling, Mom chasing and cajoling, and exasperated expressions all around. The familiar cumulative structure makes this a snap to read aloud, and kids will delight in repeatedly shouting out “No! No! Nooo!” along with intractable Baby. Smith's gum-drop-hued paintings infuse the tussling with tenderness as the stylized, rosy-cheeked characters negotiate the familiar domestic struggle. The twist ending will leave children and parents alike chuckling in recognition: off comes the hard-won outfit, leaving Baby to streak “free and undressed … Yes! Yes! Yes!” A fine companion to Margaret Chodos-Irvine's 2004 Caldecott Honor Book Ella Sarah Gets Dressed.

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