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Please, Baby, Please

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About the Author

Spike Lee is one of the most prominent and influential media figures today. His films include the critically acclaimed School Daze; Academy Award nominee Do the Right Thing; Malcolm X; Clockers; and 25th Hour. Born in Atlanta, Spike attended Morehouse College and NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, where he earned his master of fine arts degree in film production. Spike and his wife are the authors of Please, Baby, Please, their first picture book with Simon & Schuster. They live in New York City with their two children. Tonya Lewis Lee is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Virginia School of Law. As a children's television producer she has worked with Disney, Nickelodeon, and Noggin/The N, where she was the executive producer of the award-winning documentary I Sit Where I Want: The Legacy of Brown v. Board of Education and the critically acclaimed miniseries Miracle's Boys. She is also the author of Gotham Diaries, her first novel. KADIR NELSON is one of the most talented artists in the field of children's illustration. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times, and he worked on the visual development for DreamWorks SKG films Amistad and Spirit - Stallion of the Cimarron. His Thunder Rose, written by Jerdine Nolen, was a Coretta Scott King Honor Book for Illustration, his Ellington Was Not a Street written by Ntozake Shange, received the Coretta Scott King Medal for Illustration and his Hewitt Anderson's Great Big Life, written by Jerdine Nolen, won the 2005 Society of Illustrators Gold Medal. He is also the illustrator of Roslyn and Deloris Jordan's Salt in His Shoes (Fall 2000), Will Smith's Just the Two of Us (Summer 2001), and Spike and Tonya Lee's Please Baby Please (Fall 2002) and the follow up Please Puppy Please (Fall 2005) as well as Roslyn and Deloris Jordan's Michael's Golden Rules.


PreS-K-At 3:01 a.m., an exhausted parent begs a riled-up youngster to "Go back to bed, baby, please, baby, please." At a quarter to eight, the plea is for the child not to dump cereal on her head. Throughout the day, the toddler is asked to share a ball, eat some peas, and sleep tight. Baby is asked to not eat sand, be a tease, or splash. After being put to bed at 8:00 p.m., she comes into her parents' bedroom two hours later and asks, "Kiss me good night? Mama, Mama, Mama, please." The litany of pleas will strike a chord with parents and caregivers, and will amuse children with its repetition and rhyme. Bright, full-bleed illustrations evoke the child-centered mayhem of this frazzled yet loving family. Baby, with her caramel-colored skin and corkscrew curls, sometimes appears unnaturally proportioned, her head too large and her limbs contorted, but the overall effect is humorous and action-packed.-Anna DeWind Walls, Milwaukee Public Library Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"Kids will love it." - The New York Post "A sweet, whimsical children's book." - Child"

Many grownups will recognize the title as the comic carnal plea uttered by Lee (as Mars Blackmon) in his 1986 film, She's Gotta Have It. Now, the filmmaker and his wife/co-author, who have two children, have turned those words into a G-rated parental entreaty-directed at an inexhaustible toddler. "Go back to bed,/ baby, please, baby, please./ Not on your head,/ baby baby baby, please!" The large typography seems to writhe in vain supplication. The cherubic toddler, whose chocolate ringlets circle her head like restless electrons, tests her parents' patience in myriad ways, and Nelson (Just the Two of Us) has a knack for picking just the right angle. For the first of his handsome, burnished-toned acrylic spreads, readers share a toddler's eye-view. In the foreground are the feet of the prone, exhausted mother, a plastic ring from a stacking toy hanging from her left big toe, as a very wide awake baby plays horsey on her stomach. The clock on the VCR reads 3:01 a.m., and a bedtime video playing on the TV clearly makes no impact whatsoever. A tantrum when it's time to leave the playground, plus a chaotic meal and bath occasion other imploring phrases from the parents, whose presence Nelson suggests with just a foot or an arm outstretched to the youngster. But at book's end, the tables are turned: "Kiss me good night?/ Mama, Mama, Mama, please," says the girl, standing in the doorway of her mom and dad's room. The final wordless picture, a loving embrace, leaves no doubt of who loves this baby. Ages 2-5. (Nov.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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