Cover image for Guess the baby
Guess the baby
French, Simon, 1957-
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Publication Information:
New York : Clarion Books, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm
When Sam brings his baby brother to school for Show and Tell, it provides Mr. Judd with an opportunity to teach the class some things about babies, including that even grown-ups were babies once.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.4 0.5 65845.
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Material Type
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PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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After Sam's baby brother visits Mr. Judd's class, all the children bring their baby pictures to school and have a good time guessing which is whose. But there's still one picture left over. . . . It's Mr. Judd! Now the children can imagine their teacher as a baby (complete with mustache). The idea that everyone starts out as a baby--and that babies and kids become grownups--is conveyed with a light touch in this sprightly school story, which acknowledges young children's fascination with babies and with the idea that even the most revered grownups used to wear diapers. Readers will want to play "Guess the Baby" in their own classrooms.

Author Notes

Simon French was born and raised in Australia. He wrote his first novel while still in high school. He has written several novels and picture books, published in Australia and overseas. His work is praised by critics and has won several awards, including the 1987 Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award for All We Know. Change the Locks was an Honour Book in 1992. His most recent novel, Where in the World, won the 2003 NSW Premier¿s Literary Award for Children¿s Literature, and was shortlisted for the 2003 CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers, long listed for the 2003 Guardian Children¿s Fiction Prize and nominated to the IBBY Honour List in 2004.

In 2015 his title Other Brother was one of four books by Australian authors selected for the United States Board of Books for Young People (USBBY) list of Outstanding International Books for children and young adults.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS^-Gr. 1. Sometimes it's easy to forget that grown-ups were once helpless babies. French, who is Australian, and illustrator Rawlins communicate this concept with plenty of good cheer. When Sam brings his baby brother Jake to Mr. Judd's class for Show and Tell, everyone learns about yucky diapers, mushy food, and what it takes to nurture a wee one. For the next activity, the kids try to match their baby photos with their classmates in a sometimes-tricky "guess-the-baby" game. But there's one unmatched photo left at the end of the game--whose could it be? It turns out to be Mr. Judd himself, proving beyond a doubt that even teachers once had yucky diapers and ate mushy food. Rawlins' colorful, endearing illustrations, somewhat reminiscent of Julie Vivas' work, feature a smiling, multicultural classroom of kids. This useful concept book is full of humor and life. Karin Snelson

Publisher's Weekly Review

A class of young schoolchildren learns a spirited lesson about growing up, creatively delivered by Australian author French, a former kindergarten teacher with an insightful grasp of this age group's questioning minds. When Sam brings his infant brother to school for Show and Tell, the teacher, Mr. Judd, reminds the incredulous class that they, too, were once babies. The students bring in their baby pictures and create a photo gallery, rendered in endearing detail by Rawlins (My Place), and then engage in a game of who's who, matching the baby to the classmate ("We guessed Sacha, because he still has the same smile. And Mara, because her hair is as orange as oranges"). Rawlins offers visual clues-Tess wears her hair the same way she did as an infant; Braydon bares his belly, just as he does in his baby photo-and Mr. Judd gives hints for the "tricky ones." But one photograph remains a mystery-who is that sailor-suited cutie? When the class realizes it's Mr. Judd, the children plunge into a pastel-colored reverie, imagining their mustachioed teacher as a baby (complete with facial hair). The children's excitement about this revelation ("Mr. Judd used to eat mushy food,"; "Mr. Judd used to have yucky diapers") drives home French's simple message that "even grownups were babies once." For every child who's ever asked the question, "Was I a baby?" this book is a delightful answer. Ages 4-6. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-When Sam takes his baby brother to school, the other students and their teacher are delighted. The class watches as Jake is fed and bathed by his mother. Then they talk about things babies do and what they need. This prompts Mr. Judd to request that they all bring a photo of themselves as babies, and a game of who's who follows. The easy-to-read text and warm, lively illustrations depict a frolicsome, multicultural cast of youngsters; the colorful spread of their pictures as babies is particularly engaging. Creative and hip Mr. Judd is a teacher with pizzazz.-Leslie Barban, Richland County Public Library, Columbia, SC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.