My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Isabella Babysits Baxter is a cute story about a 6-year-old girl who’s babysitting for the first time. Her large, energetic puppy Baxter is the babysittee. Isabella takes her first babysitting job very seriously, despite the challenges of keeping up with the lively puppy. (As the mom of a toddler who’s tried to do the same activities with him that Isabella does with Baxter, I can definitely relate!) Ultimately Isabella proves herself to be a responsible puppy-sitter (and does a much better job keeping up with Baxter than I do keeping up with my toddler some days).
I like that this story teaches responsibility to kids, but without being at all heavy-handed about it. Isabella entertains Baxter and cleans up after him just because that’s what she’s supposed to do, not because anyone told her to. The artwork is simple but effective, and it definitely caught my toddler’s eye as I read the story to his big brother.
This probably isn’t a book I would have picked on my own to read to my kids (I have all boys, and the cover design implies that this is a “girl’s book” – not very gender-neutral of me, I know), but I’m glad we had the chance to read it. While the storyline is probably too simplistic to engage the interest of kids over the age of four or five, I think preschool age children (of either gender) will enjoy this story – giggling as Baxter keeps Isabella on her toes, and just maybe learning a little bit about responsibility as a side effect.
I received a complimentary ecopy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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