BE PREPARED: A Practical Handbook for New Dads

Gary Greenberg, Author, Jeannie Hayden, Author . Simon & Schuster $11.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-7432-5154-9

Parenting is hard, and reading many of the jargon-filled parenting books out there can make it even harder, but with a combination of smart writing and clever illustrations, husband-and-wife team Greenberg (The Pop-up Book of Phobias ; etc.) and illustrator Hayden make both seem fun, if not easy. As the subtitle suggests, the book is filled with advice that will appeal to the solution-centered male perspective, from step-by-step swaddling instructions to a guide for identifying six distinct infant crying patterns. (A hunger cry, for example, is "a pattern of low-pitched, rhythmic moans, growing more and more insistent," whereas a boredom pattern is "a low-volume whimper which stops and starts irregularly.") Not only is Greenberg and Hayden's information useful, but it's also been vetted by "several distinguished fellows" at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Along with the conventional chapters on baby-proofing your house and taking a baby's temperature are more obscure—and amusing—topics, such as how to videotape your baby and how to conduct a "Mirror Puppet Sing Along" to sooth a crying baby while driving (the technique requires two mirrors, a hand-puppet and an indifference to looking silly). Hayden's drawings strike just the right balance between textbook-boring and tongue-in-cheek funny, depicting everything from a sketch of a bottle of teething gel to a drawing of an exhausted father snoozing in a business meeting. Greenberg and Hayden have succeeded in providing new dads (and many moms, for that matter) with an entertaining and informative cheat sheet. Agent, Todd Shuster. (June 1)

Forecast: With a blurb from Paul Reiser and a low paperback price, this book should be a strong Father's Day seller.

Reviewed on: 05/10/2004
Release date: 05/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-1-4391-0332-6
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