Last month Albert Whitman reissued Rebecca O’Connell and Ken Wilson-Max’s previously out-of-print picture book, The Baby Goes Beep, as a board book.
I was thrilled to see this book back in print, first because over the last year my two-year-old son has expressed his love of the hardcover office copy a bit too ferociously (sorry, Roger), second because it’s a perfect fit for the board book format. And to think that the Horn Book lamented this book’s OP status last year!
My excitement was tempered, however, when I opened the new edition and saw what the publisher took out. Beginning on the endpapers, the original edition told a subtle story of a baby’s day, filled with familiar events like running errands with his parents, playing at home, eating dinner, having a bath, and going to bed. Now with sixteen whole pages missing, this is not the same creature. The pace of both the pictures and the text is choppy and not as satisfying. The new edition isn’t a total disgrace, though. O’Connell’s simple words (“The baby goes Splash / The baby goes Splash Splash Splash Splash”) and Wilson-Max’s bright and bold illustrations will lure in new readers who perhaps won’t miss what they’ve never known.
But I guess I’ll be sneaking the office copy back home. It’s time for my one-year-old to have her way with it.
-- Kitty Flynn