Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ma! There's Nothing to Do Here! by Barbara Park; illustrated by Viviana Garofoli

Ma! There's Nothing to Do Here! A Word from your Baby-in-Waiting by Barbara Park; illustrated by Viviana Garofoli

Reading level:
Ages 4-8
40 pages
Random House Books for Young Readers (January 22, 2008)

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I often talked to her when I felt a kick, roll, or other movement. “What’s going on in there, baby girl? Are you playing soccer? Doing gymnastics?” It was fun to make up these funny scenarios and helped me “humanize” this child I hadn’t yet seen except via ultrasound where she kind of resembled Skeletor. Other expectant mothers I knew did similar things, and I’m sure I would have appreciated Barbara Parks’ latest book, “Ma! There’s Nothing to Do Here!” that’s told from the perspective of a child in utero about to be born.

The cramped child is quite bored with nothing to do. There are “No puppies. No toys. No girls…zero boys. Not a sandbox or swings…Or those monkey bar things. Not a park or a zoo.” The child imagines what life will be like when he/she is finally born and will have lots of stuff to do; even growing hair sounds like fun.

Parks' whimsical, rhyming text and Garofoli’s funny and vibrant illustrations will make expectant parents chuckle and even feel the warm fuzzies when the baby mentions listening to its mother’s “happy heart clock.” And children who are getting ready to be big brothers or sisters will be sure to laugh out loud, especially at the visual of the baby riding in a canoe and unsuccessfully playing peek-a-boo with himself/herself. You may have to explain the “bungee cord” joke if you haven’t talked about it already.

I like to give books for baby shower gifts, and this is one I’m definitely adding to my list.

Speaking of which, do you have any books you love to give to new or expectant parents?

Other Blog Reviews:
Comics in the Classroom
Three Silly Chicks


  1. Two books that I think are hilarious for new dads are: The Baby Owner’s Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance by Louis Borgenicht and Joe Borgenicht and The Toddler Owner’s Manuel: Operating Instructions, Troubleshooting Tips, and Advive on System Mainenancy by Brett Kuhn and Joe Borgenicht. If you haven't seen them, they are great! I'm just waiting for an opportunity to give these to somebody.

    When I was pregnant last, I couldn't find any great books to read to my toddler about the new baby. This one sounds like one that would have been great. I'll file it away for future reference. Thanks!

  2. Oooh, I'll definitely have to check out those books for dads! I've had a difficult time finding good books for siblings-to-be as well.

  3. What a unique idea for a book! I have to admit, the cover art is a little startling at first glance.

  4. Sabrina...It's definitely attention grabbing!