Sunday, May 07, 2006


Blog Book Tour: Why Babies Do That

This isn't a 10-pages-in book review, because it's only a 95 page book, and they're relatively small pages, and every second page is a picture. In fact, I swallowed the whole thing up like a slice of cheesecake in one enjoyable sitting.

I'm talking about Jennifer Margulis' utterly delightful and charming Why Babies Do That, a delicious little snack of a book. I have to admit, when I received my review copy, I underestimated it at first. It looks more like one of the boys' board books than a book for me.

And then I thought it was going to be one of those fluffy, pretty and generally useless books people feel compelled to give pregnant woman, something with lots of glossy pictures of smiling cherubs and platitudes, but ultimately devoid of practical information.

I was wrong. Not only is this book full of lovely pictures of smiling, and drooling, and sucking, and yawning, and crying babies, but it contains real nuggets of practical and interesting information about babies and why they do those charming but generally perplexing things babies do.

Covering everything from why do newborns open only one eye, and often cross their eyes when both eyes are open, to why do most babies lose the hair they are born with, to why do babies waddle when they walk, Jennifer Margulis offers mini-essays on dozens of adorable quirks of behaviour that are often mysterious to parents, both first-timers and old hands.

I gobbled this book up almost entirely on a single bus ride home from work one night, and I found myself beaming broadly as I read the various chapters, remembering these fleeting but universal baby behaviours. With a two- and four-year-old, I'm hardly distantly removed from the newborn phase, but this book made me nostalgic for the blissful joys of life with a newborn - the first smiles, the mustardy poops, the daily wonder of discovery and the constant cuddles.

This sweet little book would make a terrific shower gift for a new mom, but it would also make a nice Mother's Day gift for anybody who has ever enjoyed the antics of a newborn and wondered, "Why do babies do that?"