August 11, 2005

Book Review Contest: Everywhere Babies


Title: Everywhere Babies
Author/Illustrator: Susan Meyers/ Marla Frazee
Reviewer: Nicole Apostola

In a not-to-cloying rhyme, this book takes the reader through the stages of baby-dom, from swaddled newborns to the transition from liquid
to solid foods to learning to walk.

My son, like most of the under-one set, enjoys seeing all the babies doing things he can do or has yet to accomplish.

There's a message in the illustrations (and, to a lesser extent, the words) that all sorts of diversity is okay. (Even better, it's not done in a preachy or condescending way.) Kids of all colors are present, as well as those with single parents, two same-sex
parents, etc. Kids are shown being both bottle-fed and breast-fed. For parents who feel that they can't find a book that adequately
expresses their family situation, chances are they will be able to point to at least one example in this book to tell their children --
"Look! That's like our family."

For parents on the conservative end of the spectrum, there
is enough activity that the kids probably wouldn't notice anything amiss unless it were specifically pointed out to them.

All of this makes this book not only a perfect book to read to a child under, say, one and a half or two, but it also makes a good gift for new parents regardless of their persuasion.

Check out Everywhere Babies at Amazon []


Where are all the daddy types? Almost all the reviews seem to be by mommy types?

I know. I am just as guilty of not submitting one. But I don't have time, what with reading "Moo, Baa, La La La!" over and over and over and over and over again...

[no kidding, and that lalala thing has totally warped the kid. every pig she sees now is lalala. -ed.]

I'm a daddy type who has reviewed a book, so I'll stick my neck out and confess I don't care for Everywhere Babies. My wife loves it. Our 14-month-old enjoys hearing Mom read the book, but it's too long a story for a short attention span and the pictures aren't captivating for my young'un (yet?). Show her a photo of a dog and she'll shout "Dug!" That's where she's at right now.

Okay, I'll confess that this is probably more of a mommy book than a daddy book. But you have to admit that the font is beautiful and easy-to-read.

I have to agree. Part of me's sick of farms and bunnies and things that have no relation to our actual life, but then this book seems a little too self-consciously targetted, with exasperated/exhausted parents in adorably Park Slope-y situations. Or Seattle, or wherever Gymborees are.

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