Most people think of Spike Lee as a groundbreaking filmmaker and director, and rightly so. His career however spans farther than just the screen.
I remember being little, maybe around 3 or 4, and having my parents read the picture book Please Baby Please to me. The art and the sing-song nature of the prose appealed to me as a toddler, and it still does. Recently, a friend of mine’s younger brother turned 1 and during his party his mom read this book aloud to the babies/toddlers. My friends and I reminisced over how amazing this book still is and how cool it was to see a character that looked liked you and acted like you. I mean, most children can relate to not wanting to pick up toys or asking their mom and dad for one more story at bedtime.
Spike and Tonia Lewis Lee expertly weave this cute tale of a small child, yet underneath the simple narrative is so much more. Not only do they show a black child that many of us can relate to, they show powerful images of an intact two-parent home, and a family that interacts together on a regular basis. This book shows images of black people that toddlers may not get anywhere else.
I’d advise anyone with small children to read this or those who simply like a powerful but simple picture book.