Thursday, January 19, 2006

Board Book for Bored Parents

If you've picked up Michelle Sinclair Colman and Nathalie Dion's board book Urban Babies Wear Black, try to tell me you bought it for your child -- and not for yourself. The 10-page "tome" is better suited to explaining your New York City -- or other large urban area -- lifestyle than anything else, and while that's useful, tell me you didn't enjoy the book more than your toddler does.

One parent sure did. The book, stylistically illustrated, touches on why urban babies wear black, do yoga, visit galleries, jog, drink latte, enjoy architecture, appreciate fine dining, attend the opera, and take taxis.

Yet the question remains: Why do urban babies do all these things? Because their urban parents do. Children go where their parents take them, and they do what they do. So this book works on multiple levels. One child enjoyed the opera segment -- perhaps because of his parent's impression of an opera singer -- but didn't respond as well to the yoga segment, which was more up his parent's alley.

What books do you read to your children because your children love them? What books do you read because you love them?

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