Cover image for Bye-bye, baby : a sad story with a happy ending
Bye-bye, baby : a sad story with a happy ending
Ahlberg, Janet.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Little, Brown, [1989]

Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
A baby with an aggressive nature who lives alone manages to acquire a mommy, a daddy, and several other acquaintances to live with him.
Added Author:
Format :


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

On Order


Author Notes

Janet Ahlberg was born in Huddersfield, England in 1944 and brought up in Leicester. Originally trained as a teacher in Sunderland from 1963 to 1966, Ahlberg was encouraged to paint and draw. She decided that keeping charge of a class was very hard work so she decided to develop her artistic ability and went to study graphic design at Leicester Polytechnic for three years.

She met and married Allan Ahlberg and began to illustrate books for children, first with Night published in 1972, and then with The Brick Street Boys series, written by her husband. Since then, she and Allan Ahlberg have worked together successfully. Another series, also written by Allan Ahlberg, is Happy Families, published by Puffin Books. In 1978, Ahlberg was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal for Each Peach, Pear, Plum. Ahlberg is a two time winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal having won again in 1991for The Jolly Christmas Postman. She was awarded the Kurt Maschler Awards in 1986 for The Jolly Postman: or Other People's Letters, whoch sold over a million copies worlwide.

Sadly Janet Ahlberg died in 1994 at the age of 50 after suffering from cancer

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 3-6. Imagine this: a baby with no mommy; a baby who lives in a little house all by himself, feeds and bathes himself; who even changes his own diaper. Oh, so sad. What this toddler needs is a family, and the Ahlbergs set out to find him one--or more accurately stated, this baby sets out to find himself a family, a task he accomplishes with perseverance and luck. His first prospect is a cat, who declines the boy's request to be a mommy but joins him in his search. Other possibilities, a teddy bear, a wind-up hen, and an old uncle among them, all say no to the boy, but, like the cat, join him in his search for a mommy. Before very long she shows up--("There's a coincidence. I am a mommy with no little baby!")--and the entire entourage settles down into a snug little cottage. Except that now there is no daddy, something this get-up-and-go baby soon makes right in similar fashion. The Ahlbergs tell their absurd story with great aplomb, so that everything seems perfectly reasonable. And why not? Isn't this the way life's supposed to be? A tongue-in-cheek tale whose nonchalant humor is hard to resist. --Denise Wilms

School Library Journal Review

``There was once a baby who had no mommy . . . He fed himself and bathed himself. He even changed his own diaper.'' So begins a modern quest in which the baby sets out to find a mother. Along the way he encounters a cat, a teddy, a wind-up hen, and an old uncle, all of whom join the hunt until they find a woman pushing an empty baby carriage. All settle very comfortably in a snug house where the uncle reads a story . . .about a baby who had no father. So they start out again. Unfortunately, the second quest doesn't work as well. While the search for the ``mommy'' follows folklore tradition with questions, answers, and reasoning, the search for the father is so foreshortened that it hardly makes sense and has no rhythmic quality to the telling. It seems tacked on as an afterthought, giving the story a forced and hurried ending. The whimsical watercolors are some of Ahlberg's best, however, and the delightful humor of the story and the child-pleasing role reversal at the beginning (the picture of the baby diapering himself is especially endearing) make this a worthwhile purchase. --Connie C. Rockman, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.