Review: First Laugh – Welcome Baby by Rose Ann Tahe

First Laugh - Welcome, Baby! By Rose Ann Tahe

First Laugh – Welcome, Baby! By Rose Ann Tahe and Nancy Bo Flood, illustrated by Jonathan Nelson (9781580897945)

In Navajo tradition, the person who gets a baby to laugh first gets to host the First Laugh Ceremony. So an extended family spends time with their baby attempting to get him to laugh out loud. In a variety of settings from a city home to where he is too hungry to laugh and then too busy eating to giggle. He spends time on the Navajo Nation with his grandparents, time on horseback. Music is played, water splashed, tummies tickled and still no laugh. Until his grandfather lifts him high, his grandmother whispers a prayer. So the ceremony is held on the Navajo Nation and filled with family and more laughter.

There is such love on each page of this book, filled with people spending time with a baby. There are quiet times of weaving and before getting up. There are active times of play. It all comes together into a rich family experience that leads directly to a Navajo tradition. The end of the book offers more information on the settings of the book, the ceremony and ceremonies from other cultures for babies. The illustrations focus on the family as well, depicting the different settings of the book warmly. Just as with the text, there is love on each page.

A warm look at the Navajo First Laugh Ceremony and a great depiction of a modern Native American family. Appropriate for ages 3-6.

Reviewed from copy provided by Charlesbridge.