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What Baby Animals Do

Nikki's post about cute animals reminds me of a story from the other day.

My 2-1/2-year-old, call him CDubs, has been fascinated lately by baby animals. Our trips to the library these days always end with a pile of, oh, twelve books on the subject. Luckily there's a lot to be said about it. You've got baby animals and their mommies, baby animals and the curious things they eat, baby animals dressed for winter, baby animals and their preferences in recreation, and of course baby animals making very loud noises as their parents try to get them ready for bed.

We can't read through these books too many times. And no matter whether it's the first or the twelfth time we've read a particular one, CDubs asks with each page, "What's the baby animal doing?" (Honestly it comes out more like "What doin'?!")

One morning last week, CDubs and I were riding into the city on the train, occupying ourselves with none other than Baby Animals by Garth Williams. If you don't know this classic, it follows a pattern Williams established in his work with Margaret Wise Brown, namely Mister Dog and Little Fur Family. That is to say, the book is very cute but it verges on the horrific in a fever-dream sort of way.

Baby Animals by Garth Williams

We love it. Especially the part where baby skunk finds his friend baby opossum in a field. Baby opossum is playing dead to fool the rough dogs, but unfortunately baby skunk is also fooled by the trick. Shock! Horror! Baby skunk has an aghast look on his face - very cute.

CDubs always asks "What baby skunk doin'!" at this point, and I'm still looking for the right answer.

By the way, if anyone around here has tips to help a toddler feel more comfortable around big dogs, please respond in the comments. His current method of falling to the ground and lying still just isn't very practical.