Top positive review
168 people found this helpful
on August 13, 2006
At first glance, Be Prepared looks like it might be a joke book. The bright yellow handbook format cover shows a child in a backpack strapped onto a smiling, manly fellow in a lumberjack shirt. Front backpack straps replace the man's suspenders, baby bottle, rattles and other toys are at his waist, toolbelt style, and a pacifier dangles from a strap in his fingers. It captures attention.
Likewise, the inside of the book captures attention with well designed layout and graphics. Readers recognize the content, presented with abundant wit and style, is playful but not a joke. This is a creative, purposeful production with solid, helpful information delivered in fun, maybe over-the-top, masculine terms, but quite real.
With useful, pithy information in easily assimilated chunks, and a fun filled, `can-do/here's how', unsentimental attitude, this nuts-and- bolts manual attracts expectant and new dads the way their beloved Worst-Case Scenario books used to, but with more usable material that really will help prepare them for parenting, appreciate their baby, and boost their confidence. Dads who know how to care for their infants are more likely to participate in care and strengthen parent-child attachment from the start. This interesting book imparts the preparatory knowledge well indeed.
It is organized in five general sections by age, from newborn to one year, with basic information about normal development and needs, and appropriate fatherly responsibilities and skills. Mindful, entertaining, diagrammed instructions for hundreds of such necessities as diapering, stimulating, soothing, bathing, swaddling, burping, reading Sports Illustrated with the baby, and recognizing types of crying, are laid out with humor and a decidedly masculine slant:
" Place one of your large outdoor trash cans under the window of the baby's room . (If you live in the city, you can hang a bag from the rail of your fire escape.) Each time you get a dirty diaper, simply open the window and throw down a long range jumper; Once a day, you can go out and collect the air balls, but don't be surprised how fast you'll get the rhythm down. . . "
" . . Studies have shown that the most effective rocking mimics the mother's walking pattern, which is approximately sixty rocks a minute. . . try reggae music. The beat is solid and steady, and it's got a natural buoyancy that will complement your rocking. And best of all, most reggae music cycles at around sixty to seventy beats per minute, tailor-made to your baby's needs. (Bob Marley's Buffalo Soldier is almost a perfect sixty b.p.m.."
WIthout being simplistic, this creative book actually will help dads get their parenting rhythm down, and will appeal to many men who otherwise would not read a book for new fathers. It's a good start.
Authors Greenberg, a comedian, and Hayden,an illustrator/graphic designer, are parents of a daughter.