Baby Clown by Kara LaReau and Matthew Cordell

Happy Friday! I spent an inspiring week celebrating books and the power of libraries with approximately 2,000 third, fourth, and fifth graders in Florida and Illinois. My heart is grateful for every student I met, and my heart is happy I get to end the week by celebrating Baby Clown with Kara LaReau and Matthew Cordell. I wrote the words in purple, Kara wrote the words in black, and Matthew wrote the words in orange. Thank you, Kara and Matthew! 

Matthew Cordell’s cover illustration for Baby Clown makes me laugh every time I see it! Matt is a genius so I knew he would do a wonderful job on this book. I was not prepared for how LOL ROFL FUNNY his art would be. I hope it makes readers laugh, too!

Boffo and Frieda Clown are based on my husband and myself. After our son was born, he had colic for the first three months, so he basically cried ALL THE TIME. This book is my way of making some lemonade out of those colicky lemons.

I hope Baby Clown encourages kids and parents to enjoy it together (it’s even better when read aloud). And I hope it shows kids the lengths that moms and dads are willing to go for them. Parenting really is a lot like a circus, complete with juggling, crowd-pleasing, and death-defying feats!

Kara LaReau’s manuscript for Baby Clown was instantly appealing! My family and I have a real soft spot for circus history and culture. I was thrilled to be a part of Baby Clown!

Mr. Dingling is the ringmaster and big boss of the circus. But I also wanted him to cower in fear at Baby Clown. Babies can be pretty intimidating!

Baby Clown’s illustrations were super fun to make. From the image research, to the character studies, to the finished product. It was like actually going to the circus every day in my studio!

Look for Baby Clown on April 14, 2020. 

When Frieda and Boffo Clown have a baby, everyone in the circus is over the moon. But there is just one problem: Baby Clown won’t stop crying! Frieda and Boffo try everything: putting on their silliest faces, driving him around in their tiny car. They even try taking off his red nose and big shoes. But that just makes Baby Clown cry more. Can Frieda and Boffo turn his little clown frown upside down in time for the sold-out show? Kara LaReau deftly juggles wit and warmth in this hilarious nod to parental persistence, while Matthew Cordell’s big-top-bright illustrations bring Baby Clown and his circus family to humorously frazzled life. Older siblings, in particular, will step right up to this applause-worthy picture book, joining Baby Clown in many a heartfelt “WAAAAH!”


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