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Laugh-Out-Loud Baby (Paula Wiseman Books) Hardcover – September 4, 2012

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Series: Paula Wiseman Books
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books; First Edition edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442413808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442413801
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,582,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-K-A baby laughs out loud for the first time, and it sends his family into a frenzy of joy and celebration. Ma declares that the event calls for a Laugh-Out-Loud Party; family, friends, and community members are all invited. The baby is passed around as everyone tries to make him laugh again and again. It's only once the house has a moment of silence that the baby lets loose with another giggle, much to the merriment of the guests. Eventually, the baby tires out and finally sleeps, holding his laughs inside until the next day. The rollicking text begs to be read aloud with phrases like "a dazzle, a jazzle, a shine" and exclamations such as "whoopee-doodles!" Johnston uses alliteration in brilliant ways that keep the text flowing; she also doesn't shy away from larger vocabulary words, putting them in context so their meaning is understood. Gammell's signature artwork is lively and fun. Problematic is the brief endnote indicating that this story is inspired by a Navajo tradition where a family celebrates a child's first laugh with the First Laugh Ceremony. This story does not seem to depict any Navajo; the central family appears to be Caucasian. The art and text have a Southern down-home feel that belies the ceremony's origins; the lack of cultural authenticity is puzzling and disturbing.-Laura Lutz, Pratt Institute, New York Cityα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


“Aren’t babies a wonder?” Johnston and Caldecott Award–winning Gammell (
Song and Dance Man, 1988) capture the joy of hearing a baby laugh for the very first time. When a little boy—whose drooping pants reveal an adorable baby crack—laughs out loud, the family stands “stock-still” to listen to the sweet noise. Mama suggests a “Laugh-Out-Loud Party” so that aunts, grandpas, cousins, and neighbors can get in on the miracle, and each tries to set the baby off with snorts and giggles of his or her own. Of course, babies don’t perform on demand, and Baby chuckles in his own time (but when he does, “Whoopee-Doodles! Our baby LAUGHED!”). Johnston’s rollicking text is full of poignant phrases—“and into that quiet rang a little mirthful sound”—and plenty of jolly guffaws, while Gammell’s signature watercolor, pencil, and pastel illustrations feature a quirky family from another era living in a crooked clapboard house brimming with love. An author’s note points out that the Navajo celebrate a child’s first laugh with a ceremony. Sharing this with a child can’t help but provoke . . . well, you know.

It’s a pretty bang-up team: Johnston has more than 100 books under her belt, while Gammell has won both the Caldecott Medal and two Caldecott Honors.

— Booklist, July 1, 2012 (Written by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Stephen Gammell)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A rickety crickety old house all of a sudden came to life when a baby started to laugh. Of course the family had never heard such a thing and "stood stock-still to listen." Everyone dropped everything from their buckets to their hats to race across the threshold to listen. Baby sat straight up, just like his little tufts of hair, and smiled. His little tummy was showing and those little cute toes were sticking straight out. It was a sight to behold and everyone picked up that little bundle of joy and "passed him around." Up and down and all around went the baby as the family laughed with him.

It was a very special time and so it was decided it was time to have a "laugh-out-loud party." People rushed to the house from hither and yon carrying everything from their babies to a bag of cone flowers. Oh, and there was that bag with a cat in it. They arrived in wagons, on foot and on bicycles. Even the baby's "twinkly great-grandma who was old, old, old" came to celebrate. They "coochy-cooed that baby," made all kinds of faces, and laughed away, but nope ... that baby simply would not join in their "laugh-out-loud party." When was that little baby going to join in the fun and laugh again?

This is a charming tale of a baby's first laugh that is sure to delight little ones. Of course once everyone arrived to join in the celebration the baby had no intention of laughing again, least ways not right away. The tale, based on the Navaho tradition of celebrating a baby's first laugh with a First Laugh Ceremony was delightfully charming. The slightly daffy mountain family is carrying on an age-old tradition that somehow has traveled down through their family. Regardless of cultural heritage, we all love baby "firsts," especially that first laugh. The artwork was vibrant and captured the joy of this very special event. If you want a joyous little story, this is one you may wish to consider!
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