Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA

Book review by
Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media
Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA Book Poster Image
Kid animals speak for themselves in cute, dad-centric book.

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Kids say

age 2+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Toddlers can identify the animals and learn and say their associated sounds.

Positive Messages

Dads may want their kids to say "Dada," but they can't force them. Kids have minds of their own,

Positive Role Models & Representations

The animal dads presumably love their animal kids. Most of the kids appear to make their dads happy in the end by saying "Dada" in unison.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA, by actor, comedian, late-night talk show host, and father of two Jimmy Fallon, is a very simple book that's light on plot and payoff. It works best as an inside joke for parents, as it shows different animal dads trying in vain to get their kids to say "Dada." But kids will enjoy the cute animals and their sounds.

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What's the story?

A series of animal fathers say, "Dada!" (in speech balloons) to their offspring, who respond not by repeating it but by making the sounds English speakers learn are those animals' sounds. So the calf says moo, the Lamb says baa, the baby frog says ribbit, and so on. The second-to-last last spread shows all the animals, and above them a line reads, "Now everybody get in line, let's say it together one more time .... " The speech balloon above the animals on the final page says, "Dada!" But one lone duckling says, "Quack."

Is it any good?

This simple picture book for toddlers has cute animal illustrations in a pastel palette but not much of a story and a sometimes imprecise pairing of image and text. It's not clear who's saying "Let's say it together one more time" at the end of the book (an unseen narrator? One of the animal dads?). And the final speech balloon saying "Dada!" appears connected only to a bee flying by and a tree. Many of the animals on the page don't even have their mouths open. The duckling saying "Quack" reinforces the underlying joke: that you can't force babies to say "dada."

The best part of YOUR BABY'S FIRST WORD WILL BE DADA for toddlers will be the cute animal pictures and mimicking the sound each animal makes.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about babies' first words. What was yours?

  • Can you name all the animals in the book?

  • What sound does each animal make?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love toddler books and silly stories

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