Cover image for Baby talk
Baby talk
Hiatt, Fred.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations 23 x 26 cm
Joey finds that he can connect with his new baby brother by speaking his own special language with him.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 1.7 0.5 46554.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Joey has a new baby brother and he doesn't understand him one bit. "WAAH!" the baby wails. Joey's mother says that means he's hungry, but Joey doesn't want to try giving the baby his bottle. "WAAH! WAAH!" the baby cries. Joey's sister says that means he needs a new diaper. Joey lets his sister handle that. "WAAH! WAAH! WAAH!" Joey's father explains the baby's tired. Joey thinks his father should rock him to sleep. "Ada agoo." says the baby one day. No one really knows what that means, so Joey decides to talk back. "Agoo ada!" Joey says, much to the baby's delight. After that, they talk all the time. In a short, simple text and with beautifully expressive, full-color pictures, the growing relationship between Joey and his baby brother unfolds with great warmth and good humor. Perfect for sharing and reading aloud to the very young, Baby Talk speaks the special language of sibling love that will be understood by children and adults alike.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 3^-6. No matter how much his parents and sister coax, little Joey wants nothing to do with his new baby brother. But that all changes when Baby smiles at Joey and begins talking talk only Joey can understand. "Ada, ageek, ada, agoo," says Baby; and Joey, finally charmed by his brother's smile, answers baby talk right back. The oil paintings, in soft nursery colors and suffused with bright highlights, eschew fine details for emotional content, which Graham aptly conveys through facial expressions and body language: Joey's fear of his new sibling is plain as he huddles alone on the couch; so is his love, which echoes across the page when he "converses" with his brother, happily snuggled in bed. A quiet, perceptive, slightly different take on sibling bonding. --Stephanie Zvirin

Publisher's Weekly Review

The team behind If I Were Queen of the World here explores the way a family communicates with their new baby. "WAAH!" says Joey's new brother, and although various family members try to translate ("He's just telling us that he's hungry"; "He's saying he needs a dry diaper"), Joey is not the least bit interested. Then one day the baby says "Agoo." Perceptive Joey learns to repeat the baby's sounds better than anyone else, and he gradually becomes the family's expert in baby talk. "Now what's he saying?" asks Joey's grandmother at the end of the book, and Joey answers, "He's saying he loves his big brother. Right, Baby?" Although not all of the baby's babbling sounds are believable, Hiatt's simple story line and text are age appropriate and full of family warmth. Graham's lustrous oil paintings of the adoring baby and his reluctant hero focus on ordinary family activitiesÄriding in the car, shopping at the supermarketÄand give the book a cozy, homespun tone. Children will enjoy spotting the baby's rubber ducky and other toys that litter the family's house, especially when the same toys reappear on the colorful end papers. Ages 3-7. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Hiatt depicts the evolving relationship between a young boy and his baby brother. At first, Joey is rather wary and unsure of how to interact with the infant. He demurs at offers from his mom, dad, and older sister for him to feed or hold the baby as they do. Finally, as his brother begins to utter sounds, Joey takes an interest in him and responds to the "baby talk," repeating sounds such as "Ageek" and "Ada agoo." This opens the door to their relationship, as Joey spends more time playing peekaboo and singing and reading to his brother. The gorgeous oil paintings have soft edges and a baby-blue background. This is a lovely book to share with young children unsure of how a new baby will change family dynamics. Both the pictures and the text are positive and reassurng.-Judith Gloyer, Milwaukee Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.