Take your average guide for new mothers, chuck most of the stuff about breast feeding and ditch the deep background research and stats, then generously pepper with illustrations and burley humor and what do you have? Your average guide for new fathers. Be Prepared follows that template pretty closely, and that's really quite an acceptable thing. Yes, there's a bit too much emphasis here on broadly drawn manly stuff like changing a diaper at a ballgame, but there's also heaps of useful advice that's cleverly and efficiently presented for pops who, despite their best intentions, really aren't prepared to dig into encyclopedia-sized tomes. The basics (childproofing, bathing, feeding, entertaining) intermix with nifty sidebars (homemade bath toys, foods to never give your baby, exercises for dads) in easy-to-peruse chapters organized according to the age of the offspring up to age 1. There are more thorough how-to guides for new dads, but for most men moving into fatherhood, Be Prepared will fill the bill. --Steven Stolder
From Publishers Weekly
Parenting is hard, and reading many of the jargon-filled parenting books out there can make it even harder, but with a combination of smart writing and clever illustrations, husband-and-wife team Greenberg (The Pop-up Book of Phobias; etc.) and illustrator Hayden make both seem fun, if not easy. As the subtitle suggests, the book is filled with advice that will appeal to the solution-centered male perspective, from step-by-step swaddling instructions to a guide for identifying six distinct infant crying patterns. (A hunger cry, for example, is "a pattern of low-pitched, rhythmic moans, growing more and more insistent," whereas a boredom pattern is "a low-volume whimper which stops and starts irregularly.") Not only is Greenberg and Hayden's information useful, but it's also been vetted by "several distinguished fellows" at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Along with the conventional chapters on baby-proofing your house and taking a baby's temperature are more obscure—and amusing—topics, such as how to videotape your baby and how to conduct a "Mirror Puppet Sing Along" to sooth a crying baby while driving (the technique requires two mirrors, a hand-puppet and an indifference to looking silly). Hayden's drawings strike just the right balance between textbook-boring and tongue-in-cheek funny, depicting everything from a sketch of a bottle of teething gel to a drawing of an exhausted father snoozing in a business meeting. Greenberg and Hayden have succeeded in providing new dads (and many moms, for that matter) with an entertaining and informative cheat sheet.
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