Rock-a-Bye Romp

Written by Linda Ashman. Illustrated by Simona Mulazzani.
Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Random House. January 2016. ISBN 9780399171505.

Reviews & Honors

CLEL Bell Award for Early Literacy 2017

“Gently funny and eminently reassuring.”—★ Starred review, Publishers Weekly

“A fine addition to the nursery bookshelf for baby and all.” — Kirkus

“Ashman writes in rhyme that rolls right off the tongue.” Julie Danielson, Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

PARENTS & CAREGIVERS: Print the  CLEL Bell Rock-a-Bye Romp Activity Sheet

About this Story

When Jackson was little, I’d sing “Rock-a-Bye Baby” while rocking him in my arms. When I got to the “down will come baby” part, we’d drop to the floor. He loved it—especially the dropping action—but I couldn’t help thinking this was a very strange lullaby. A cradle falling from a tree? Not exactly comforting.

So I decided to rewrite the lullaby—and make it even stranger. Baby falls into a nest, rides a pig, and flies on a hawk, among other adventures. But in the end we see he’s never left his cozy room and loving mama.

When Nancy Paulsen sent me a link to Simona Mulazzani’s artwork a few years ago, I was thrilled—and even more so when Simona signed on to illustrate the book. I love the deep colors, the gorgeous landscapes, the sweet baby and mama, the faces on the trees and other whimsical touches she’s included. And I love how the endpapers reflect Baby’s adventures and the blanket in his cradle.