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Ma! There's Nothing to Do Here!
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Ma! There's Nothing to Do Here!

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  171 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
“Ma! there’s nothing to do here!” complains the precocious protagonist of this rhyming tale set entirely in utero. It’s not exactly a scintillating experience spending nine months in your mother’s womb. You’re just stuck there at the end of that dumb bungee cord (a.k.a. the umbilical cord), with nothing whatsoever to do but slosh around. But, oh, the endless joys you have ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published January 22nd 2008 by Random House Books for Young Readers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 31, 2013 Melody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw this book in the store and thought, "Oh no, what have they done now??" and immediately sat down to read it...

It is absolutely adorable! So incredibly cute! And very sweet!

Only 2 points keep it for garnering the 5-star rating:

My initial reaction to the cover (reminded me much too strongly of the horrible, HORRIBLE, gelatin-mould baby-in-the-belly cakes that came up in a search during my last baby shower recon mission)


(bit of a SPOILER here, I'm afraid)

The statement that baby will, ma
Feb 09, 2008 Jill rated it it was amazing
From the ever-hysterical Barbara Park of Junie B. Jones fame... I just bought this for a friend's baby shower. It might be required reading for every expectant Mom. How can you go wrong when a book starts with the line, "Dear Ma, What's a baby to do in a womb with no view?" I'm cracking up all over again.
Britteny Gilge
Nov 21, 2013 Britteny Gilge rated it it was amazing
This picture book was extremely cute! The author rhymes the words, lays them out in different ways- sometimes in a swirl, sometimes around a picture. Along with the layout she uses different font text and adds colors to certain words to make them stand out. This book was very creative in style and stood out to me from other books. I liked that the author shows the baby in the mothers tummy so that we know where the baby is in the rest of the story because the rest of the story the baby is shown ...more
Jennifer Balke
Nov 20, 2012 Jennifer Balke rated it it was amazing
This book was extremely cute, it rhymed and the words were shaped around the pictures. The book was written from a baby’s point of view, inside his mother’s stomach and was so creative. This book would be a great to use in a health class to be an intro into child birth and development. The book was fun to read through and the pictures helped engage and reinforce what was being said. The book had fun vocabulary and showed many different out looks a child may have on different topics while in the ...more
Apr 22, 2009 Josiah rated it it was ok
"So, Ma, here's the plan.
Let's rest while we can.
I'll stay in here longer—
Get bigger, grow stronger."

—Ma! There's Nothing to Do Here!

This is a picture book that is creative and humorous, and it comes from the expert pen of the inimitable Barbara Park. There are some nice lines in the text, particularly near the end, and I thought that Viviana Garofoli did a good job making some difficult-to-imagine illustrations.
Ultimately, I read this book because the author is Barbara Park. It is an int
Apr 24, 2008 Alia rated it did not like it
Though the pictures are funny (when not crossing over into the bizarre and icky) and the rhymes flow well, I can't imagine this appealing to kids at all. A lot of the jokes have to do with the mom's experience (like the pictures of lil' fetus wiggling and kicking mom) which kids aren't going to be able to or even want to understand. I mean, I was slightly creeped-out by some of the illustrations! A cute enough gift book for a new mom-to-be but a pretty weird choice for a kid's book.
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
Apr 26, 2008 Roxanne Hsu Feldman rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks, adult
I can think of a bunch of mothers-to-be to give this book as a gift. Park's text is crisp and humorous and spot-on! Carofoli's illustrations are whimsical and imaginative, extending and expanding the jovial, almost exhilarating, mood of the text. But, is it a book for kids? Even the sub-title is addressed to the mother: A Word from Your Baby-in-Waiting. I just hope for the book to find its rightful audience and be discovered by friends and families of mothers-to-be and new mothers.
May 06, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I read this with my almost 3 year old because she is going to have a new baby cousin soon. This book is absolutely adorable and is written from the baby in the womb's point of view in rhyme. I am going to share this book with my sister who is pregnant and I think she will get as much enjoyment out of the book as my daughter and I did.
Sep 05, 2014 Jj rated it liked it
Weird, just plain weird. I am not sure who the audience for this is supposed to be, but it seems like it could be a mix of parents-to-be and younger siblings. I don't find anything freakish or disturbing going on here, just odd. It is a book narrated by an unborn baby who is already totally bored with life. Maybe this is good preparation for the tween and teen years for those soon-to-be-parents?
Leah Miller
Feb 04, 2016 Leah Miller rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens-lit
I don't think this is a very good children's book at all. I don't think that kids would care to listen to a story about a baby in the womb. Most kids that would be the age to read this book don't even know where babies come from yet. This wouldn't be a book that I would read to you kids or students.
Nov 10, 2008 Courtenay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
This is one of the sweetest books I've ever read. It's your baby talking to you from within the womb about how bored he is in there. "...and I'm totally bored with this dumb bungee cord..." It was given to me as a pregnancy gift, and I read it all the time throughout my pregnancy. A wonderful gift.
Cabryn Taylor
Jul 14, 2008 Cabryn Taylor rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Moms-to-be
We read this book almost every night to our son before his brother was born. We'd point to the baby in the tummy in the book and then to my belly. I think he understood it, he wasn't quite 2 yet. But it was fun.
The illustrations are super cute.
Rebecca Dean
This may be my FAVROTIE book. This is a very cute book with great illustrations. This book really makes you think about something you have never thought of before, like what a baby does to pass the time.
Dec 11, 2013 Megan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s, favorites
I have got to stock up on this book to give for baby showers. How come I haven't seen this before? This book is PERFECT for the expectant mother and it's hilarious to read as an adult or to older siblings.
Jun 23, 2008 Lisa rated it really liked it
My daughter read this one to me at our not so local BN store. she saw the name Barbara Park and squealed. She already knows a favorite author. The rhyme is cute and the premise is even cuter. Good one for K-1 that could spark some interesting discussion.
Feb 28, 2008 Molly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book is hilarious! An insider's guide to life in the womb.

The rhyming text is fun to say and the pictures are fun. This would make a great gift for a mom to be, or a nice read aloud to a soon-to-be big brother or sister.
Mar 01, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
I guess those babies-in-waiting pick up more than we thought...this one can't wait to get out of the womb and get busy riding bikes, having play-dates, and having a good time. Let's face it, the living quarters are getting more cramped by the day, and it sure looks fun out there...
Mar 25, 2010 Lindsey rated it liked it
A fun story by the author of the hilarious Junie B. Jones series, told from the perspective of a child in utero. A great gift for expecting moms or the bright illustrations make it a good choice for soon-to-be siblings.
Nov 24, 2013 Robin rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Came across this book right around the time that Barbara Park passed away. I hadn't seen it before but it has the same whimsy that Junie B. Jones brought into this world. A book to read with soon-to-be siblings. I got a kick out of it, I have to say.
Feb 19, 2008 Melissa rated it it was amazing
This book is too cute. Just a quick read for a mother-to-be. All about the baby wanting to come out. My cousin got it for me and it made me giggle.
Oct 03, 2009 Terrah rated it really liked it
Shelves: cora
So cute! A little beyond Cora, she didn't get all the jokes, but she thought it was funny anyway.
Jul 27, 2013 Jennifer rated it liked it
This was a cute book of why babies get bored and eventually want to come out.
Feb 03, 2008 Stef rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
I dont think I have ever read a book from a baby's point of view in the womb! cute stuff.
Sep 05, 2014 Norma added it
Really good book!! Shows kids what their babas sister or brother thinks while in their moms stomach
May 01, 2010 Denise rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
I love the text, I just wish the illustration on the cover was more of a cartoon bubble coming from the woman's belly, not the baby cut-way illustration. It's a little disturbing.
Ashlyn Kesler
May 19, 2014 Ashlyn Kesler rated it it was amazing
Rhyme. Doesn't talk down to kids.
Sep 12, 2008 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I absolutely love this book. I have been reading this to Joshua since before he was born. He loves the pictures!
May 20, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
this is my favorite book to give for a baby shower.
a funny perspective of what it is like for the little one in utero.
Oct 14, 2010 Matthew rated it it was amazing
What a great book from my mommy's cousin, Alicia! This book made my Mommy cry too. It's a really sweet story about when I was in my Mommy's tummy.
Julia Jasztal
Nov 10, 2012 Julia Jasztal rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own
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Barbara Park received over 40 awards for her books, including 25 Children's Choice awards.

Park was the daughter of a merchant and a secretary, Doris and Brooke Tidswell. She grew up in Mount Holly Township, New Jersey. From 1965 to 1967, she attended Rider College, later finishing her B.S. in 1969 at the University of Alabama. She married Richard A. Park in 1969. She lived in Phoenix, Arizona for
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