Saturday, June 5, 2010

Book Review:Born Yesterday by James Solheim

Born Yesterday: The Diary of a Young Journalist by James Solheim and illustrated by Simon James

This is another of the clever new pictures books that I got for the 3-year-old in Chicago. But once I read it, I worried if it wasn't perhaps too clever. However, he did want me to read it over and over, and I don't think he's quite sly enough (yet) to have the good manners to do that simply because it was a gift from me if he wasn't getting anything out of it.

Our nameless, genderless protagonist, the baby is born on the first page. This book is the ostensible journal that he keeps about his experiences during his first year. Mostly they revolve around his big sister who he idolized and who teaches him a great deal. It is so chock-full of jokes that only adults will get, I worried, but he took the book at face value and ignored any irony or certain patently ridiculous jokes that wouldn't make sense to him. It was nice though, because he did enjoy the book and it had so much content for adults too. Examples:

Note to self: grab "cats, ears, elephants, ankles, and Vermont."
"Some things are noses, some are taxicabs, and some are Belgians."

The parts with the older sister were very sweet and were the parts my young reader friend really seemed to dwell on. He was particularly concerned on the spread where the sister comes home from school crying, because someone was mean to her. (Kudos to the three-year-old for understanding empathy already!) That seemed to really speak to him although he doesn't go to school yet.

While this book is probably mostly for an older child, kindergarten or so, it can also be appreciated for the basics by precocious younger ones. It was cute and sweet, with the added bonus of being a unique perspective on the "new baby" story.

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.

1 comment:

Julie P. said...

Sounds like a wonderful book. I like that this picture book can be enjoyed on many levels -- from a three year old, to an elementary age child to an adult. Thanks for sharing.