Author: Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee

18 to 23 Months Poetry/SongsPredictable Text

The rhyming and repetitive text in this recommended children's book may encourage your little one to join in as you read the story. There are plenty of “teachable moments” in this book!

Before, During and After Reading

Read the title of the book, sweeping your finger under the words as you read them.

Ask a question about the cover. Touch the illustration of the baby who is sitting amidst unraveled toilet paper. You might say, Oh no! Look at what the baby did! Ask your child to tell you what is happening in the picture. Give her the words if she does not have them.

Take time to look at and talk about the illustrations. The illustrations in this book add many details to the story. For example, the hand-drawn clocks give readers information. The mother wanted to leave the playground at 3:00, but they hadn’t left when 4:30 rolled around because the baby was being cranky and pokey.

Ask your child to turn the pages of the book for you.

Read the repeating phrases with inflection. Each line has a variation of the phrase, “please, baby, please.” As you read, make your voice sound as if you are pleading with the baby. You may notice that your toddler tries to “read” the phrase along with you!

Make letter-sound connections for your toddler as you find them on different pages throughout the story. There are pages on which you could say, /b/- /b/- baby, /b/- /b/- ball and /b/- /b/- baby, /b/- /b/- bath.

Discuss the story line. This story follows the actions and behaviors of a baby who likes to do things “her way.” You may want to add your own comments as you read this story to your toddler. You might say, The baby drew on the wall! Crayons aren’t for walls! We know that crayons are for paper. Or, Look at the baby kicking and screaming! I’m so glad that you don’t do that when we have to leave the park. You can suggest alternatives to the baby’s stubborn behaviors.

Compare to your toddler’s bedtime routine. To remind your toddler about her own bedtime expectations (likely similar to the ones that weren’t followed by the baby in the story!), ask her, After the Mommy tucked her in, what was the baby supposed to do? You might give your toddler a visual clue by doing a gesture for “sleep.”

Find fun reading activities for two-year-olds, or explore more recommended children's books.