Monday, December 5, 2011

Favorite Books for Toddlers Week - Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee & Tanya Lewis Lee illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Material from Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee copyright © 2002,  Illustrations copyright © 2002 by Kadir Nelson, Used by permission of Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division

The first illustration shows an exhausted mother, supine on the floor with the clock indicating 3:00 a.m. The toddler, full of energy, is bouncing on poor mom. This story follows the day of a typical toddler, from morning to night with visits to the park, meals and bath time  in between, who has to be implored to go back to bed, to share, to hurry etc. Even though the parents are chiding the child, the tone is never harsh. A form of "please baby" is always used.

"Keep off the wall, baby baby, please, baby."

"You share that ball, please, baby baby baby."

"Don't eat the sand baby baby baby, please"
This is a very simple story with sparse text, which makes it ideal for even the youngest of children. The repetition is soothing; however, it is Kadir Nelson's  illustrations of this adorable toddler and her true to life behavior that will captivate your child. Nelson perfectly captures the exuberance, defiance, mischievousness and curiosity that make a toddler incredibly trying yet miraculously wonderful!

"Please, Baby, Please,"  will always have a special place in my heart. It is the book that has been requested the most, having always been in rotation since my oldest was approximately 2. The pages all have rips and most are no longer attached to the spine: it has been well loved and perused by three sets of very little hands for 4 years now. As my youngest speeds toward her third birthday at about a mile a minute, it is almost time to place "Please, Baby Please" into the baby box to be stored beside ultrasound pictures, first onesies, first footprints, hospital bracelets etc. It will be a sad day indeed when I no longer have a child small enough to climb unto my lap, hold out this book and pronounce it, "Peas, Baby, Peas."

There is another book by the same author and illustrator trio titled, Please, Puppy Please which is also enjoyable.


  1. I LOVE this book! I always sell a bunch when I read it at story time. Parents laugh because it's so true and kids love it because they can relate to it. I like their puppy book also, but BABY is brilliant. And, of course, anything Kadir Nelson does is magic!

  2. Hi Tanya,

    I agree and so do my children. We also own Please, Puppy Please which the kids like, but they LOVE Please, Baby, Please. Thanks for reminding me, I forgot to list it in the review.

  3. Hi Donna, I'd have to agree that this is an enjoyable story. Your niece Monica has requested that I read this book to her often over the years. No matter the number of times she's heard it, I can always count on getting lots of giggles from her and repeated requuests to "read it again" once I've concluded the story.

  4. Yes, I remember Marilyn reading it to Morgan years ago and I knew once I had children I would purchase it.

  5. This book was a favorite with my son(now 7) we have moved on to Spike's other book titled "Giant Steps to Change the World". Good thing my baby girl is only 2 weeks old, I can't wait to read it to her.

    1. I have not yet read Spike's new book. We will at some point in the next few months. I have, however, read the blurb and it sounds very inspiring. Did your son enjoy Please Puppy Please also?
      A 2 week old. Awwwww. Congrats! I so miss having a little bitty baby:-(