Where’s Baby? puts a fresh twist on the concept behind the classic picture book Are You My Mother? Rather than a fledgling baby bird wandering far and wide, mistaking all manner of animals and objects for its mother, in Anne Hunter’s fanciful world, a hapless father fox sets out to find his cheeky baby pup.
Unable to find Baby Fox in the den, Papa Fox grabs his walking stick and heads into the forest. He climbs hills and wanders through fields. He peeks into burrows and peers into hollowed-out logs. Along the way, he finds an owl perched high in the canopy, a fish floating along in the creek and even a black bear out enjoying the day, but Baby Fox always manages to elude him.
Hunter’s illustrations are a striking testament to what can be achieved with just a few colored pencils and an ink pen. They’re also an integral part of this giggle-inducing hide-and-seek story, offering young readers the delight of spotting stealthy Baby Fox on each page as he sneaks around, avoiding his unwitting father’s gaze.
Though adults might be confused by Papa Fox’s inability to catch a glimpse of his child (is his vision going? Has he lost his keen sense of smell? Is he really that dull-witted?), clever and sharp-eyed children will look on Baby Fox’s evasions with glee as they point him out on page after page.
From its language to its artwork, Where’s Baby? is so sparse that it’s almost minimalist. At first glance, it seems to be a very simple book. And it is—simply entertaining.