Everything is Mama | Book Review

Everything is Mama -- Cover Art -- Book Review

Title: Everything is Mama
Author: Jimmy Fallon
Illustrator: Miguel Ordóñez
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends – Macmillan Publishing Group
ISBN: 978 125012 5842
Age Range: 1-3 Years Old

Publisher’s Synopsis

Jimmy Fallon, one of the most popular entertainers in the world and NBC’s Tonight Show host, was on a mission with his first children’s book to have every baby’s first word be DADA. And it worked! A lot of babies’ first words were DADA. However, everything after that was MAMA.

So take a lighthearted look at the world from your baby’s point of view as different animals try to teach their children that there are other words in addition to MAMA for familiar objects and activities.

Everything is Mama | Snuggleosophy Review

Artwork

4.0/5.0

The artwork is simplistic, but colorful. All of the animals are based off of simple shapes, it seems. I think that it is good that Fallon and Ordóñez decided to include a wide variety of animals. 

However, upon close up inspection, I can’t say that I am a fan of the artwork. I think that many of the animals, though well drawn, don’t have emotion. Many look surprised due to the large eyes, but do not seem to show any other emotion other than just being there on the page.

Something my husband mentioned is that the attractiveness of the animals distracts from the objects that the animals are presenting. While a toddler may hear “balloon,” his eyes are going to be attracted to and focused on the penguin. This could have been an opportunity to add in more vocabulary to the text of the book. As with many baby books, in an effort to make them last a bit longer, I like to describe the surroundings of the artwork. But, I feel that job maybe should go to the author, not the parent, to add more content.

Message

3.0/5.0

As a parent, of a 1-1/2 year old, I think that the underlying message in Everything is Mama is cute. My daughter Amanda, went through a short phase where she said “Mama” to everything. It was funny, frustrating, and cute while it lasted. There wasn’t a thing, living or not, that wasn’t “mama.” It makes sense, as that was the first sound that she mastered. (Yes, I gloated a little bit at that.)

While the writing in the book is simplistic and the majority of the pages only have two words, the message is made clear on the final page, that babies are the most important thing in the world to their mamas, and vice versa.

Writing

 1.5/5.0

In regards to writing, there is not much to say. In the majority of the book, just as you see on the cover art, there is a mother animal trying to teach their baby a word. Rather than say the object’s name, the babies only say “Mama”. Until the last pages, that is the entire concept of the book. I cannot give this book a good rating for writing, when I feel as though the effort that went into the actual writing of the book was minimal. The book is cute, but it is lacking for me, especially considering the price tag.

Would I Recommend this Book?Everything is Mama by Jimmy Fallon - Honest Book Review

I think that Everything is Mama could be a cute first book for a baby. However, if you are looking for a book that is entertaining and helps form your child’s language, I would pick a different book. The fact that this is a New York Times bestseller has more to do with who the author is than the actual quality or content of the book.

As a mother who has read to her baby from birth, I think that this book is too simple. How can that be, when we are talking about baby books, you ask? Babies need to hear language. They need to hear sentences and sentence structure. While simple sounds like “mama, dada, baba” are what they are able to articulate first, babies are able to understand so much more!

In regards to first baby books, I definitely prefer books that offer sentences and structure rather than just words. Even if the sentences are simple, it helps form a child’s language. In my opinion, the importance of having a functional book is much more important than having a pretty one.

Let us know if you have read Everything is Mama and what you think about it in the comments below!

Disclaimer: I was provided a free copy of this book for the purpose of this review, but the thoughts and opinions above are 100% my own.

I also want to say that while the opinions are my own, the above article contains links from the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon. 

Caitlin is the managing director of Snuggleosophy and the mother of 1-1/2 year old Amanda. She has lived as an expat in Santiago, Chile for the past 7 years and speaks English and Spanish fluently. She loves to promote reading for children starting from birth as well as multilingual and multicultural parenting. For her day job, she is a pricing and transportation analyst for international freight.

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