Stevens, April. 2011. EDWIN SPEAKS UP. Ill. by Sophie Blackall. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780375853371 [Suggested Grade Levels PreK-2]
Absent-minded Mrs. Finnemore and her five little ferrets are off to the grocery to purchase sugar for Baby Edwin’s first birthday cake. Chaos ensues, with Ms. Finnemore oblivious not only to the havoc her children are wreaking in the store, but also to the fact that Baby Edwin’s babbling actually makes sense. “Gloody pooper do no LEAVEY,” he exclaims as his mother walks off, leaving him alone in the produce section. Edwin quietly saves the day by crawling through the store and finding the sugar that everyone else has clearly forgotten. The story closes with Mrs. Finnemore musing on the fact that Edwin will soon be talking-– as Edwin babbles “roofum sweet” about the sugar on the top of the car.
The book’s delight is in the details-- expressions on the ferret children’s faces and hilarious action taking place on the edge of the page. The retro illustrations point to a world of big full skirts and cars with fins, and repeating patterns abound on each page. Text and illustrations work together to create a book that begs to be shared.
Explore the math concepts in the illustrations. Identify a category (repeating pattern in a skirt, veggies in a shopping cart) and encourage the readers to count the objects. Let older readers create simple math problems based on the book’s illustrations.
Other humorous picture books about a baby in the family:
Jenkins, Emily. THAT NEW ANIMAL. ISBN 9780374374433
Lloyd-Jones, Sally. HOW TO BE THE BABY BY ME, THE BIG SISTER.
Harris, Robie. MAIL HARRY TO THE MOON. ISBN 9780316153768
By Susi Parks Grissom