Hello Benny!: What It's Like to Be a Baby

by Robie H. Harris and Michael Emberley

The initial title in a five-book series exploring the first five years of life, Hello... read more

The initial title in a five-book series exploring the first five years of life, Hello Benny presents facts about human development from birth to age one, imbedded within the story of baby Benny’s first year. Benny’s tale is told in large black type on each page, while corresponding information about infant development is made clearly distinct by virtue of its smaller purple font and enclosure in a box. Large illustrations of Benny and his family expand the fictional story, and smaller cartoon-type images accompany the factual content. The expected landmarks of babyhood are included, from birth and baby vocalizations and emotions through rolling over, crawling and first steps. The details presented were selected to be of interest to young children, including a description of the taste of formula (“a stronger taste [than the milk we drink] because extra vitamins, salt, sugar, and fat have been added to it”) and early language development (“All around the world, most babies about a year old say words that sound like 'Dada’ and 'Mama,’ no matter what language their families speak. At first, babies say these sounds because they are trying out all the sounds they can make and it’s fun. Later they learn that 'Mama’ means 'Mommy’ or 'Dada’ means 'Daddy.’ ”) A large picture book format and a realistic baby’s debut will hold great appeal to young children nostalgic about their own recent past. (Ages 4-7)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2003

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