Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals
‘This is a board book, no make that a book, like no other – A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals’: this hilarious offering is probably best suited for new parents, despite the fact that the narrator appears to be speaking directly ’THANK YOU FOR JOINING US’ … ’PLEASE ENJOY YOUR STAY’ to a new babe, in the manner of a travel brochure or similar.
It goes on to detail a short list of activities to enjoy such as ‘SLEEPING and WAKING, EATING and BURPING, POOPING and MORE POOPING’ as well as forthcoming highlights: MUSIC, CATS and STORIES – hurrah for that one. – that the infant will encounter in its early life.
Not everything is a bed of roses naturally, but the voice is again reassuring with Willems’ arch humour shining through in its ‘WE REGRET TO INFORM YOU’, that goes on to mention unkindness, fighting, wastefulness and soggy toast and ICE CREAM DISASTERS. This list is countered with upbeat intentions of happy tears, warm embraces and sharing of ice creams.
I’ve no idea what babes, even a couple of years on, would make of the LOG-IN CODE spread, one of the few that doesn’t have road sign like pictograms.
But, they’ll certainly benefit both emotionally and linguistically from the shared reading underlined with the ‘while we read this book together’ refrain; and enjoy particularly the shiny mirror on the inside front cover.
Superbly executed and sturdily built to stand up to those all-important shared readings, this is affirming, thought-provoking, and meta humour notwithstanding, overarched by love.
Next time somebody I know has a baby, this is the book I’ll be buying them.