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Sunday, December 4, 2016

Buddy and Earl and the great big baby, written by Maureen Fergus and illustrated by Carey Sookocheff. Groundwood. 2016. $16.95 ages 4 and up

"After Earl finished cheering, he turned to Buddy and said, "So! What's a baby?" Buddy was very surprised by the question. "Is a baby something you drive around in?" asked Earl. "No," said Buddy confidently. "Is a baby something you plug into the wall?" asked Earl.
"No," said Buddy, a little less confidently."

Earl has so much to learn about the world he is living in, and Buddy does his level best to make the learning happen. Having never seen a baby before Earl obviously has many questions.

As Buddy tries to help him understand, Earl relishes the fact that he and a baby have much in common.

"Babies are small and
adorable," explained Buddy.
"And I am small and adorable,"
said Earl.
"Babies like to eat things off the floor," said
"I like to eat things off the floor," said Earl."

They are just too funny, and they will have readers and listeners smiling with great pleasure as they get to know them better. Their third adventure is as much fun as the first two. It will surely gain a legion of fans who appreciate the friendship, the fun and the endless curiosity that fuels their conversations.

The baby's arrives for a visit. His rampant destruction of most things in his path has Earl rethinking his position on a baby's assets. It isn't long until that baby finds himself looking out of the bars of a playpen. He does not want to be there. He finally settles down, but does not sleep. While everyone else takes a needed nap, Earl keeps his eye on the bundle of energy. It isn't long before the baby escapes.  Earl enlists Buddy's help to get him back.

As they search, Earl imagines the many dreadful things that may have befallen a helpless baby bent on adventure of his own. Kids will howl when the lost is found and the searchers get a good look at the mayhem he is creating. In the end, there is one important lesson learned ... and Earl is happy to share it with friend Buddy.

As in the first two, Carey Sookocheff uses her winning artwork to show both sides of the story. They clearly match the story's events and every bit of fun.

Oh, it's great to have you back, Buddy and Earl! Can't wait to see you in your next adventure.

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