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*****= An all-time favorite
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***97 Ways to Make a Baby Laugh

by Jack Moore

Photographs by Penny Gentieu

Reviewed September 30, 2002.
Workman Publishing, New York, 1997.

I originally bought this book to give at a baby shower, then found I couldn’t part with it.  Now I buy new copies to give to new mothers.

The book is exactly what the title says—97 ways to make a baby laugh.  Each page has an idea, accompanied by a picture of a laughing baby.  Irresistible!  Many tried and true ideas are included, as well as some I’d never dreamed of.  I haven’t tried the new ideas out on an actual baby, but it’s easy to imagine the results.  I challenge any adult to read this book without laughing!  Some of the notes are fun, such as that following the idea of yodeling for the baby.  The note tells that at least two Dads, once they learned to yodel, never stopped, and have since been ostracized at neighborhood and family gatherings.  There’s danger here!

I’ve decided that there are two accomplishments that will make a person feel that they are “good with babies.”  One is getting a baby to stop crying.  The second, delightfully rewarding one, is getting a baby to laugh.  If someone learns to do these things in childhood, as I did, they will possess an unshakeable conviction all their lives that they are good with babies.  Thus, I think that this book would also be a great gift for an older sibling.  Even though most of the suggestions are directed toward Mom and Dad, they will definitely give big brother or sister some good ideas.  (You might want to monitor the way they are carried out at times!)  Indeed, I must admit that some of the ideas sparked off fond memories that I then had to share with my family, such as the time I got a nursery full of 27 two-year-olds completely quiet by sticking a pop-bead on my nose.

Those who don’t need this book because they learned long ago how to make a baby laugh will be entranced by it, anyway.  Those who don’t already know how will quickly get the idea.  So you can’t go wrong!

All my life I have felt that when a baby laughs, the world is a better place.  Thus, this is a book that brightens the world.


Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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