A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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.
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.
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