“Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

Cave Baby 

CavebabyAuthor:   Julia Donaldson

Illustrator:   Emily Gravett

Published by:   Macmillan Children’s Books 2010

Age:  2 – 6 years

Themes:  fear, trust, art, restless, sleeplessness

Opening Lines:   Cave Baby’s lucky – he lives inside a cave with his mum (who’s good at painting) and his dad (who’s very brave)  And a sabre-toothed tiger, and a hyena and a hare and a grey woolly mammoth, and a big brown bear.

Synopsis:  A cute little Cave baby is worried he is going to be thrown to a big brown bear, after painting over the walls and pictures in his parents cave walls.  A hairy mammoth takes the cheeky little baby on a thrilling ride through a moonlit landscape with a tiger, leaping hare, a laughing hyena and possibly a big brown bear.

But where are they going? And what has it to do with the baby’s scribblings on the cave wall?  You will have to read it to find out.

Why I like it:   I love books that beg to be opened, that have illustrations with such expression, that are cute, funny, bright, interesting and artistic.   This is one of them. Emily Gravett’s full page pencilled drawing over paint give the little Cave baby such expression right down to his little leafed nappy and bare feet.  The illustrations certainly move the story along with it’s soft dark night colours giving the close feeling of the animals of the jungle,  to the bright, clean light of day where we view the mess that has been made.  Julia’s beautiful rhyming text is minimal and often ambles through the illustrations so as not to detract the eye from the big picture.

Cavebaby11Note: A newer edition in soft cover is now out, making this a very bright and attractive book to visit. It comes complete with a CD.

Emily Gravett is a twice winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal.    Julia Donaldson is a mult-award winner and popular picture book writer.  Originally writing songs for television, it wasn’t till one of her songs was turned into a children’s book that she turned to writing for children.  Of her 184 published works, 64 are widely available in bookshops.  The remaining 120 are intended for school use and include her Songbirds phonic reading scheme which is part of the Oxford Reading Tree.

Resources/Findings:   Here is Julia Donaldson’s website and as you can see she has also educational material….. http://www.juliadonaldson.co.uk/

Another link…    http://www.cavebaby.co.uk/activities.html


Parental resources for tracking baby’s path…   http://pathways.org/awareness/parents/developmental-milestones/monthly-milestones-and-activities-calendar?gclid=CKeu9Yb65bYCFUVZpQodtTQAgw

Watch Emily draw Cave Baby….     http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7hY4MgstiVg

For more books with resources please head on over and visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books.    Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors



About Diane Tulloch

Known also as the Patientdreamer I am a writer who loves to dream, and is passionate about writing stories for the young so that they may join me in the wonders of adventure in countries and cultures afar, and in special moments to remember.
This entry was posted in Children's literature, Picture Book Review, Reading Aloud and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book” – Friday

  1. I think Julia is brilliant and I must find this book! Would be fun to pair with Tammi Sauer’s ME WANT PET!

  2. Picture books and songs are a great match but CD’s almost seem old-fashioned now. I’m surprised each time I see them.

    • I love having the accompanying CD whether it is a song or reading the book. For the buyer, it’s like an extra bonus,( I think). Nice to have the option too, with or without CD. Thanks Wendy. 🙂

  3. What a very unique book and an interesting way to teach a little history. Like Julia’s website. Can’t imagine writing 184 books.

  4. Catherine Johnson says:

    I love the sound of that especially after watching that new kids movie whose name escapes me. Julia is fabulous! Thanks, Diane

  5. I hope we can find it here too. Julie and Emily together sounds like a good match (though I love her collaborations with Axel Scheffler too)!

  6. This looks delightful, Diane! I was sold immediately on the title and the cover illustration! I can’t wait to read it 🙂 Thanks for introducing me to it!

  7. Hi Diane – too funny – we both picked Emily Gravett books today – I so like her illustrations. Thanks for the link to the video of her. I will seek out this book.

  8. Joanna says:

    Wow, what a prolific writer. You sure have me hooked to know the ending, Diane!

  9. Saba says:

    I will have to try and find this book! It sounds cute and adventureous

  10. This sounds like a very cute book! 😀

  11. That cover is really cute! And what a funny idea of babies with mammoths! I’ll have to check this one out! Thanks for sharing!

  12. Just can’t go wrong with Julia Donaldson. Great post. Glad I have found you. Best!

  13. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I enjoy your blog!

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