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*The Wicked Big Toddlah* by Kevin Hawkes
Also illustrated and/or written by Kevin Hawkes:

The Wicked Big Toddlah Goes to New York

The Road to Oz: Twists, Turns, Bumps, and Triumphs in the Life of L. Frank Baum
The Wicked Big Toddlah
by Kevin Hawkes
Ages 4-8 40 pages Knopf June 2007 Hardcover    

Toddie is a giant, taller even than trees. He bathes in the ocean and changing his diapers requires a crane. He squeezes his syrup out of trees and left the evidence of his first tooth in the roof of his parents’ house. Such is the story of a unique young man born to an ordinary family in an ordinary Maine town in Kevin Hawkes’ The Wicked Big Toddlah.

For those of you who don’t speak New Englander, let me translate: an extremely (wicked) large (big) young child (toddlah), the aforementioned Toddie. The story tells of all of the adventures, and challenges, that come from trying to raise a baby bigger than your house. As you can imagine, this presents many opportunities for laughs, and the illustrations are witty and colorful, as well as being easy enough for non-readers to follow.

The best part for a Massachusetts native like me, though, is the reading-out-loud potential of the story. I am unable to read this aloud without exaggerating my accent into that of a Maine Yankee and am now delighted to hear my nephew and niece try to imitate it themselves: The drawn out “Hihowaaaaaaaaaahya” that is Toddie’s first word has become a standard greeting in our house.

Written with a wry and simple humor and in a unique voice, I highly recommend this book (particularly if the kids in your life have dropped r’s of their own).

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  Melissa McLaughlin/2008 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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