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The Barefooted, Bad-Tempered, Baby Brigade…
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The Barefooted, Bad-Tempered, Baby Brigade

by Deborah Diesen

Other authors: Tracy Dockray (Illustrator)

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Showing 4 of 4
A bunch of babies wake up one day and join each other to protest such things as getting their noses wiped, wearing frilly clothes made by great-grandma, and more.

This is a fun and silly book with a great rhythm for reading aloud. Kids will like the rhyming and the pacing while parents will be amused by the relatableness of the babies' demands.

The illustrations fit the text well and add on with small details in the protest signs and more. They also show diversity in terms of different races. ( )
  sweetiegherkin | May 9, 2019 |
Deborah Diesen’s second picture book for young children tells the story of a group of fed-up babies loudly announcing to the world just how they feel (sort of like a baby scream in the middle of the night). 6:15 a.m. and the babies march, crawl and push their way to the town hall to protest: no more raspberries on their bellies, no more washing faces or eating peas; no haircuts, sun caps or taking their naps. The babies are mad and throwing one heck of a town wide tantrum declaring that they are a “barefooted, bad-tempered baby brigade!” The story has a satisfying end, reassuring children that it’s alright to feel upset at times and let out all of those feelings; your parents will still be there for a good ole hug and snuggle when you are ready.

Although young children will love the musical sound of the text being read to them, I believe older children will enjoy the story more. And adults?! Well, any parent with a child will be able to relate to dealing with a fussy, grumpy baby!

The toddlers are brought to life with the help of Tracy Dockray’s illustrations. Adorably ornery young ones are depicted in each spread with such belligerent expressions; parents will be biting their lips to keep from smiling.

Great for sharing one-on-one or with a group, just be careful that you do not instigate a barefooted, bad-tempered baby brigade in your own town! Get those hugs and snuggles ready!
( )
  DiamondDog | Mar 29, 2013 |
Maybe it's my state of complete exhaustion, but this book really didn't make sense to me. A horde of babies are crawling, toddling, and riding downtown. They are revolting against bedtime, baths, having to be quiet, being fussed over, naps, being clean, eating vegetables, being cuddled, etc. etc. etc. They finally make it to the stage, proclaim that they are smelly, whiny and messy, and the parents applaud their cuteness and "spunk." Then they want to be cuddled and promise not to be bad-tempered babies for long.
There are a few adult jokes, like the babies refusing to play with smart toys to make them skip a grade. But the things the babies are revolting against are so random. I just don't understand what the point of the book is. It's partially in rhyme, partly not, which creates a jarring effect. There are a variety of ethnicities shown, especially in the individual complaints, but the closest the minorities get to the front of the parade is one girl who might be Asian helping to carry the secondary banner and one African American child is part of a group at the front of the stage. It looked to me like all the "leaders" were white. Also, there only appeared to be two African American children total, they just got reused. The art is created in photoshop, with photographs and illustrations mixed together.
Maybe I'm just feeling tired and cranky, but I didn't see the point of the "plot", and the illustrations looked washed out, probably because most of the kids were white. Anybody else have any thoughts on this one, or take longer than I did to study each child and count up how often they appeared?
Verdict: Optional, might want to add it if you have lots of fans of the author's Pout-Pout Fish series.
  JeanLittleLibrary | Nov 15, 2010 |
In speaking with the author at a recent book fair, she divulged that this book is almost more for parents than it is for the children, and I have to agree with her assessment. The general idea is that the babies are protesting against all the things that parents typically do, and I had to laugh at a few because of the familiarity of activities like blowing raspberries and playing peek-a-boo. Some of the concepts are newer, such as the games intended to make children "smarter," so I thought that was an appropriate nod to the times that we're living in.

The illustrations in this book remind me of a combination of cartoons, comic books, and manga. The overall result is definitely unique, though it took a while to adjust to the deliberately distorted proportions and sketchy style. Sometimes I felt like the babies were a bit washed out compared to the color-soaked backgrounds, but this effect may have been intentional.

There are places where the rhythm seemed to be a bit off. With a bit of manipulation (and syncopation), one could make it work, though it felt terribly odd reading aloud to my cat. I just couldn't get it to work the same way in my head. The words and sentence structure are simple, in keeping with the target audience, though a few choices (e.g. "frustration") might go right over their heads. Each stanza ends in the titular phrase in the tried-and-true method of repetition that children seem to love. By the the third or fourth round, my tongue stopped getting tangled up in it.

In short, this children's book is one that will strike a chord in parents and keep children entertained. I suggest practicing a bit before reading aloud, to make sure that the beats flow easily. If not, I'm sure that the kiddies won't mind hearing the same story another two or twenty times. ( )
  hideandread | Oct 16, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Deborah Diesenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dockray, TracyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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A group of babies stages a "protest crawl," in which they make their list of demands known to their parents in no uncertain terms.

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