Should somebody tell Kate DiCamillo that the protagonist of a children’s book should be a child? Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? is the third book of her tales from Deckawoo Drive, available from Candlewick on August 2. Illustrator Chris Van Dusen alerts us with his art, even before we begin, that it has been a long, long time since Baby Lincoln was actually an infant.
Baby Lincoln enjoys a very good dream where she is traveling on a speedy train through a night filled with shooting stars on a necessary journey. Rudely awakened by her older sister who still calls her by the childhood nickname, the day begins with Eugenia giving Baby instructions on goals for the day that she has to write down. For the first time in their gray-headed lives, Baby rebels against her older sister. Her dream has given her this necessary journey that she must take.
Aided and abetted by her next door neighbor Stella, who does happen to be a child, she purchases a ticket to Fluxom since she doesn’t have enough money to go to Calaband Darsh. Her travel gives Baby and the reader a delightful trip with some interesting travel companions, once she learns to answer to her real name of Lucille. Make that Lucille Abigail Eleanor Lincoln – but she doesn’t really need to use all of that.
Back to my original question of telling Kate about using children to star in children’s books – she’s not going to hear it from me. This tale will delight a kid reader or an adult who is reading it aloud. One word of caution. Have a bowl of jellybeans ready to munch as you read. You’ll be glad you did.