Cover image for The baby dances
The baby dances
Henderson, Kathy, 1949-
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 26 cm
Recounts the development of a baby, from birth to rolling over, crawling, standing, and finally walking.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.5 0.5 46101.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
X Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Recounts the development of a baby, from birth to rolling over, crawling, standing, and finally walking.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 2^-4. The miracle that is a new baby is captured here in a gentle text and wondrous art that seems to be lit from within. "The baby's born. / The baby's born. In the middle of winter / and a windy, rattling, late rainstorm / she has her first warm hug / in her father's arms." So begins the book and the first moments of the baby's life. It goes on to record other first moments: the baby smiling in her carriage, rolling over on a blanket in the grass. As the seasons move on, the baby sits, crawls, stands, walks, and finally dances, safe in her brother's arms. Henderson has the faculty of making her words count. Each page of text set against a buff-colored bar is evocative: "she waves her hands at shadows / and her sunhat tips / but baby sits." If the text is spare, the paintings are lush, a wonderfully idealized vision of all the joy and possibilities a baby brings. There's no denying that perception will strike a responsive chord with adults, but this certainly succeeds in its premier function as a book for young children. They will be fascinated by a look back at their own development or will be eager to see what awaits them in the coming of a little brother or sister. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

"The baby's born./ The baby's born./ In the middle of winter/ and a windy, rattling, late rainstorm/ she has her first warm hug/ in her father's arms..." So begins this lyrical and visually sumptuous overview of a baby's first year. Henderson (A Year in the City) and Kerins (The Brave Ones) follow the baby girl through the seasons and the major milestones: first smile, rolling over, sitting, crawling. When winter rolls around again, "she takes her first lurching steps,/ reaches out.../ staggers... prances.../ and safe in her brother's arms,/ the baby dances!" New parents may well be taken with the romanticized celebration of an infant's changes and growth, while preschoolers can anticipate the changes to come with a new arrival at home. The majority of Kerins's luxuriant, full-bleed pastels focus only on the baby herself; she is bathed in an angelic glow, immaculate, and always cheerful. Meanwhile, her brother, shown interacting with his younger sister in small black-and-white vignettes as sidebars to the main illustrations, displays not a whit of sibling rivalry. Preschool children fascinated by tales of their own development will appreciate this accessible approach to a baby's first stages of growth. Ages 3-6. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-The milestones in a baby's first year are beautifully captured in this lyrical work. On a cold winter night, a child is born. As the seasons change, so does the infant. By summer she can wave "her hands at shadows" and sit up by herself. She is crawling as the autumn leaves begin to fall and by the next winter "she takes her first lurching steps...." Henderson's well-crafted text is rhythmic and full of evocative images: the baby lifts her hands and stands "Like a tightrope walker/in the gusty wind...." Kerins's full-page pastel illustrations are remarkably realistic and glow with warmth and tenderness. Subtle details such as magnolia blossoms falling into the carriage and tiny fingers pulling on clover strengthen the text's metaphoric linking of the child with nature. Smaller black-and-white sketches offer a glimpse of family members. The final full-page illustration is of the girl dancing into her brother's arms, making this perfect for sharing with older siblings.-Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.