Posted by: Erica Gillingham | April 12, 2012

Urban Babies Wear Black

Urban Babies Wear Black

Michelle Sinclair Colman and Nathalie Dion, Berkeley: Tricycle Press, hb. 978 1 58246 158 8, $6.95, 2005, 20pp.

Sometimes board books simply teach the ABCs or 123s. Other times, a classic picture book story or character is condensed into a more durable edition for the even younger reader. Other times, authors and illustrators take charge of the board book format and make it their own. With the Urban Babies Wear Black series, Michelle Sinclair Colman and Nathalie Dion have done just that–starting with a board book of the same name.

Now if I didn’t live in an urban environment myself, I might not believe that Urban Babies (‘UBs’ for short) really do wear black or do yoga, go to museums, or drink a ‘babyccino’–but they do. Whether or not they enjoy architecture, actually listen to opera or can hail their own taxis is subjective–but fun for the reader nonetheless.

The format of Urban Babies Wear Black, and all of the books in the series, is that the reader meets the ‘baby’ on the front cover. Inside, each left-hand page of the double page spread is black with white writing, detailing the UBs’ actions. On the right-hand page of the double page spread, the reader witnesses the baby in action throughout their urban environment. Sinclair Colman’s words are tongue-and-cheek for the adult and child readers while Dion’s illustrations bring the UBs to life in full pastels. The images have clean lines and the babies always look cool and remain centre-focus as the adults only exists in torsos, hands and feet in the UB’s world.

With ten books in the series, there is a bound to be a book for every child you know: urban, country, foodie and rocker…

Full list of the series available on the Urban Babies Wear Black website:

  • Artsy Babies Wear Paints
  • Beach Babies Wear Shades
  • Country Babies Wear Plaid
  • Eco Babies Wear Green
  • Foodie Babies Wear Bibs
  • Jet Set Babies Wear Wings
  • Rocker Babies Wear Jeans
  • Sporty Babies Wear Sweats
  • Urban Babies Wear Black
  • Winter Babies Wear Layers


Photo by Erica Gillingham

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