BABY CLOWN, by Kara LaReau(Geisel Honor Winner), Illustrated by Matthew Cordell(Caldecott Medal Winner), Candlewick Press

An award-winning author and a Caldecott Medalist introduce an adorable new circus star — who won’t stop wailing!

When Frieda and Boffo Clown have a baby, everyone in the circus is over the moon. But there is just one problem: Baby Clown won’t stop crying! Frieda and Boffo try everything: putting on their silliest faces, driving him around in their tiny car. They even try taking off his red nose and big shoes. But that just makes Baby Clown cry more. Can Frieda and Boffo turn his little clown frown upside down in time for the sold-out show? Kara LaReau deftly juggles wit and warmth in this hilarious nod to parental persistence, while Matthew Cordell’s big-top-bright illustrations bring Baby Clown and his circus family to humorously frazzled life. Older siblings, in particular, will step right up to this applause-worthy picture book, joining Baby Clown in many a heartfelt “WAAAAH!” 

Out April 2020

32 Pages


I received this book in exchange for my honest review.

The problem when you win such high medal achievements in the writing world, everyone expects to see this same caliber of work from then on. It’s a lot to live up to, or, write up to.

This book intrigued me. I loved the cover and wanted to read the book to see if Colicky babies and what to do about them was somehow introduced in a children’s book. Quite the concept to introduce to young readers of the ages two to four or younger, since this is after all a picture book. But, I was game to read on.

The cover is covered with a book jacket and the book itself is lap worthy in size. That is where it ended for me.

In my mind while reading the pages, the book seemed to appeal more to parents than children and this confused me. Also, clowns were used as the characters where quite frankly, I think magicians could have been used, or actors on stage. If the end results to solve a crying baby was to be applause, then either would have done a better job. Many people don’t like clowns, and animal activists object loudly to anything bringing a circus into the spotlight, even picture books for children. It would have been a better call to use another avenue of characters and situations for the story-line and the results may have been better. I also think there was a cuter element that could have softened the heart-felt pang that goes to any baby that’s crying. There is nothing funny about a crying baby. Most parents would agree, I’m sure.

If only applause could be the shoe-in reality for helping parents calm a crying baby, I think more than a medal would be awarded then. Plus, any child reading this book about a crying baby knows that crying is connected to something bad and will not find it funny.

This book was mundane and impractical, not to mention to unrealistic for a very realistic current world. The artwork was different and interesting. It looks a bit like it was drawn by a crying baby…

Not for me…

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