Baby on Board
Allan Ahlberg and Emma Chichester Clark
Storyteller extraordinaire, Allan Ahlberg, has teamed up with some wonderful illustrators over the years and here he is partnered by another; Emma Chichester Clark, who provided the pictures for his Mrs Vole the Vet, one of the Happy Families series.
This is a story – an epic adventure – that has its origins in the author’s infancy when two girls used to call at his home in the Black Country, asking to take baby Allan out for a walk in his pram.
It begins thus:
‘Once, many years ago,
there was a baby,
in his pram,
with his sisters
and their sandwiches and lemonade
and their friends
and a kite,
and a dog or two … ‘
From there it takes off into a lilting tale wherein baby and minders are separated on account of a kite, and the infant in its pram sails off, along with a trio of toys, into the open seas.
Fortunately the toys are able to make the babe warm and comfy; but coping with the sudden storm that blows up is much more of a challenge, though it’s one the three are up to.
Unexpectedly however, three becomes two thanks to an inquisitive puffin, the arrival of which precipitates a fall overboard by panda. Happily the other two are able to perform a timely rescue and the pram sails on into the setting sun, with its complete crew and a somewhat whiffy baby.
Eventually the baby carriage drifts to shore once more with its four passengers safe and sound, albeit pretty exhausted; and all ends happily thanks to terrific toy teamwork.
Stunning artwork by Emma Chichester Clark – love the 1930s pram and children’s attire – transforms Allan Ahlberg’s super story into a super, super story. It’s perfect as a bedtime book, or equally as a shared read at any time of the day.