First Laugh - Welcome, Baby!

by Rose Ann Tahe, Nancy Bo Flood, and Jonathan Nelson

“Baby! We wait. Watching, tickling, smiling. When will we hear your first laugh?”... read more

“Baby! We wait. Watching, tickling, smiling. When will we hear your first laugh?” A great deal of Navajo cultural information and details about this fictional family’s life is woven into both text and warm illustrations in a story in which Baby is the center of everyone’s attention. Baby’s first laugh will mean it’s time to hold the First Laugh Celebration to formally welcome Baby into the family and clan. At home in the city, and on a visit to Grandparents in the Navajo Nation, Baby naps and eats, wiggles and squirms, but there’s no laugh. “Your mouth opens wide… . It stretches… . A smile? Oh, no. It’s a sleepy pink yawn.” Finally, Grandfather lifts baby into the air and Grandmother whispers a corn-pollen prayer, and Baby laughs for the first time. Information about the Navajo First Laugh Ceremony, and new baby ceremonies in other cultures, follows this cheerful story. (Ages 2–5)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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