Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Year of the Baby (2013)

The Year of the Baby. Andrea Cheng. Illustrated by Patrice Barton. 2013. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 176 pages. [Source: Review copy]

Anna and her friends are back for a second adventure. The Year of the Baby is mainly focused on two things: Anna's new adopted (all the way) from China baby sister AND the fact that their class is participating in a science fair. When Anna's baby sister fails to thrive and starts losing weight, Anna decides her science project will be her baby sister. She teams up with her two best friends and they start their ongoing project. All the adults in her life (her parents, her teacher, the pediatrician) all act as if Anna and her friends "save the day." This bothered me. It's one thing to say "good job," or "great idea" and quite another to say it is because of YOU that the baby has gained several pounds. When the experiment only focuses on one snack of each day, and that snack consists of a handful of banana slices or pieces of Chinese burgers. That one snack is just a fraction of the meals and snacks (or feedings) consumed in a day. And most of the daily calories are coming from the other meals that have nothing to do with the experiment or observation. The experiment was fun and playful and a great chance to bond, but, I'm not convinced that it "saved the day." (The bonding might have led the baby to feel happier and more secure in her new home which might help overall in her health.)

I really wanted to love The Year of the Baby. I definitely enjoyed reading Year of the Book. However, I have hesitations about The Year of the Baby; my hesitations are about the science experiment or science fair.

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Helene said...

What's the age range that this book is for? Would you recommend it for a girl as old as 12 or is it for elementary aged kids?

Becky said...

Helene Smith, I would say as young as 7 and maybe as old as 10...it's a book about fourth graders.