July 13, 2006

DTBBC: Maybe My Baby

maybe_my_baby.jpgTitle: Maybe My Baby
Author: Irene O'Book (O'Really?)
Photos: Paula Hible
Reviewed by: Matt

I can't remember exactly where we got this book; I think maybe the hospital gave it to us. Basically, it features (poorly-lit) photos of babies in costumes meant to signify grown-up jobs. The relevant point, though, is that the accompanying text is a transparently preachy lesson aimed squarely (and bluntly) at the parents.

At you, the, clearly dumb parents who need to be instructed on how to properly love a child. Because after every little "Maybe you'll rocket way up into space" or "Maybe you'll wear a bright blue uniform" comes the admonition "But I see while I'm looking deep into your face that it's surely
too early to tell."

Yes, yes, don't push your kids into a career at age 1. And oh how nice that there's a mix of working-class and dream-jobs-that-few-people-actually-have: cop and cement mixer, or president and astronaut. It's as if the book says "Look, if you're the kind of person who has to read this book, we know your kid ain't gonna be a doctor or lawyer, so here's some hoity-toity dreams they can have, and also the reality you need to adjust to." (Um, no disrespect from this reviewer to cops or cement mixers.)

As if that weren't enough, it ends with "But [...] I'll love you whoever, however you are. And it's time to tell you that now. Because I, being an inept and horrible parent, can't express my love without being told when to do it by a freakin' board book."

Okay, maybe that last sentence is implied. But still. And the photographs really are poorly lit, blurry, and not that inspired. Why do we keep this book, then? "Babies! Babies! Babies!" says our daughter. She loves it. I have to do the point-out-the-pictures, ignore-the-words thing.

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