cover image Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada

Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada

Jimmy Fallon, illus. by Miguel Ordóñez. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-00934-0

Ten years after Fallon’s Snowball Fight!, the Tonight Show host returns with a witty reminder that as much as parents may try to shape their children’s destinies, kids will do as kids will do. Ordóñez (Marina and the Little Green Boy) deploys a barnyard’s worth of father-child animal pairs, framed in square panels with fathers on the left and their offspring on the facing pages. In speech-balloon dialogue, the elder cows, sheep, bees, rabbits, donkeys, and other animals shout an encouraging “Dada!” at their children, whose responses are more typical to their species—a “squeak” for a triangular gray mouse or a “ribbit” for a squat green frog. The fathers’ expressions range from concerned to downright irate, but the baby animals couldn’t be more pleased with themselves. The comparatively loquacious closing pages round up all the animals (“Now everybody get in line, let’s say it together one more time...”), and the young animals finally make their proud papas’ dreams come true. A punchy and deceptively simple story that will make for some fun readalouds. Ages 1–3. Author’s agency: Creative Artists Agency. (June)