Book Review: Loon Baby by Molly Beth Griffin

loonbaby

Loon Baby by Molly Beth Griffin, illustrated by Anne Hunter

Loon Baby lives happily with his mother in the northern woods.  His mother dives under the water for Baby’s dinner but he is too little to follow her underwater.  Loon Baby waited, floating and paddling.  At first he is sure that his mother will return just as she always had.  But she stays away and he begins to wonder if something has happened to her.  He tries to dive down into the water, but keeps bobbing back to the surface.  After diving so many times, Loon Baby can’t remember where home is anymore.  Everything looks the same to him on the banks of the pond.  Loon Baby has had enough and wails a cry that wavers and sinks.  His mother pops up by his side, his dinner in her mouth.  In his happiness, Loon Baby dives deep into the water, discovering that he can indeed dive just like his mother.

Griffin tells this story in prose that reads like poetry.  It is spare, simple and ideal for young children.  The story speaks to the panic a lost child can feel when their mother disappears, gently guiding children to the parallels between Loon Baby and themselves. 

Hunter’s illustrations are a lovely mix of watercolors and lines that crosshatch and offer details.  The green and blue colors evoke the northern woods.  Pulling back to a larger view, they emphasize the lone Loon Baby as he seeks his mother. 

A lovely book for preschoolers about being lost and being found again.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from library copy.

Also reviewed by Katie’s (Little Ones) Learning Lounge.