Friday, 16 December 2016

Booky Advent Calendar Book of the Week - Week Ending 16th December 2016 - "King Baby" by Kate Beaton (Walker Books)

We're sneaking this one in as a bit of a cheeky Nativity reference. Our Booky Advent Calendar Book of the Week this week is "King Baby" by Kate Beaton...
Bear with us on this one, as the opening scenes of the awesome "King Baby" by Kate Beaton really do feel for a moment like a nativity play. There's a baby in a crib wearing a crown of gold, there are doting parents, wise men (and women, and a couple of angelic looking onlookers. So it could almost pass as a festive treat.

Narrated by the baby himself, "King Baby" (as you'd expect from Kate) is a brilliantly funny and sometimes irreverent look at exactly what it means to be the REAL head of the house.

King Baby is revered by the whole family who all dote on him - and rightly so, for he is KING BABY!

King Baby makes demands. His "servants" (poor mum and dad) had better do as he says pretty pronto as the implications of not doing so are too horrid to imagine (squealing, yowling, poopy nappies). We particularly giggled all the way through the section where King Baby wants "The Thing! Get me the thing! NO NOT THAT THING, THAT THING!!"

But as King Baby grows, and grows, and suddenly discovers the merits of crawling and then toddling, what will happen when he's is no longer a baby. Who will take on the crown?

The answer is brilliantly funny (but we're going to be mean and not spoil it for you. You really will just have to go and buy the book pronto).

I'm a huge fan of Kate's (very grown up don't let the kids look at it) web comic "Hark, a Vagrant" which was turned into a brilliant book compilation along with "Step Aside, Pops". I also had no idea that she's been a bit of a comic megastar too, working on several Canadian titles for indies that are riddled with her trademark brilliant humour.

But for all Kate's sweary and sometimes risque grown up stuff, she has also turned out two of the best children's books on the planet (we also made "The Princess and the Pony" a Book of the Week for very similar reasons to King Baby - it's pant-wettingly funny and so deliciously well observed you really just can't help loving it).

So she's a web comic superstar, an expert orator of historical and political spoofery, and now a children's author par excellence.

"King Baby" is gurglingly brilliant! Go geddit, buster!

Charlotte's favourite bit: "King Baby" trying to crawl for the very first time (with accompanying sound effects which made her giggle and snort like a loon).

Daddy's favourite bit: (Agree with Charlotte re the sound effects - which were also used to great effect in Kate's web comics and other books). There are so many brilliant touches in this book and it'd work in so many different situations. As a baby-shower gift, as a brilliant story book to prepare kids for the imminent arrival of younger siblings, or just as a hugely entertaining and funny book to read aloud to your kids. Kate's star is rising, so rapidly rising that we're absolutely hanging on her continuing to write many, many more brilliant children's books like this.

(Kindly supplied for review)

"King Baby" by Kate Beaton is out now, published by Walker Books.