Laugh-Out-Loud Baby: with audio recording [NOOK Book]

Overview

From Caldecott Medalist Stephen Gammell and beloved writer Tony Johnston, this joyous picture book with audio celebrates the sound of a baby’s laughter.

The family gathers round to hear the sweet sound of the new baby’s sweet laugh! But just because everyone has gathered doesn’t mean the baby’s ready. When the moment finally comes, the sound makes everyone else laugh too—aunts, uncles, cousins, and even ...
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Overview

From Caldecott Medalist Stephen Gammell and beloved writer Tony Johnston, this joyous picture book with audio celebrates the sound of a baby’s laughter.

The family gathers round to hear the sweet sound of the new baby’s sweet laugh! But just because everyone has gathered doesn’t mean the baby’s ready. When the moment finally comes, the sound makes everyone else laugh too—aunts, uncles, cousins, and even great-grandma. It seems no one can resist the sound of baby’s laugh. And who would want to?
With simple, endearing text, audio, and Stephen Gammell’s unmistakable art, this tribute to the joy a young child’s laughter will quickly become a family favorite.
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Editorial Reviews

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 City
Publishers Weekly
A baby’s inaugural laugh—“That small spill of happiness,” as Johnston (Levi Strauss Gets a Bright Idea) felicitously puts it—is so infectiously joyful that it makes everyone in the tyke’s rural, tumbledown community come running. But laughing on demand is clearly not baby’s thing—even when visitors try “smiling like pumpkins” and the seemingly surefire “coochy-coo.” What will it take to get the giggles going again? Unfortunately, both the question and its answer fall flat. Johnston’s rustic lyricism is well matched to Gammell’s (Mudkin) luminous mixed-media illustrations, which portray an entire town of quirky personalities (the baby’s father sports a top hat and a ponytail, and thrift shop ensembles prevail among his friends and neighbors); there’s an undeniable mood of genial comic chaos. But the story feels woolly and unfocused—it’s one of those books that forces readers to flip the pages backward to keep track of what’s happening. Even more critically, the grownups’ desire to make the baby laugh one more time never translates into narrative momentum or comic urgency. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“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.

HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY:

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
“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.

HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY:

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

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"The first time our baby laughed out loud our whole family stood stock-still to listen." It was a "Sweet Day." That happy sound inspires joy all through the house. It's time for a party. Everybody comes; all ages, all kinds, all laughing. As they pass the baby around, they all try with all sorts of laughs to get him to laugh again, in vain. Then they eat and blab. Finally, in a "slot of silence," in multicolored large, upper-case print, "OUR BABY LAUGHED!" More merriment follows, until the visitors leave. The baby, after all the kisses, smiles as he goes to sleep, holding his laughs inside until tomorrow. The merry tale is an opportunity for Gammell to take out his watercolors, colored pencils, and pastels and create across single and double pages a cast of assorted stylized country folk eager for a party. All sorts of local food, unique clothing, and assorted handmade contrivances invite the reader to join the fun in this multigenerational laugh fest. A note adds information on the Navajo First Laugh Ceremony. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
Johnston captures the beauty of a baby's first laugh and a family's subsequent joy in this sweet celebration of one of life's loveliest milestones. On a crisp, winter's day, a baby laughs. "That small spill of happiness / went rippling through the house-- / a dazzle, a jazzle, a shine." To share in this wondrous event, relatives and neighbors gather, but no amount of prompting can get this babe to giggle again. Later, with bellies full of food and conversation, "into a slot of silence… / ...rang a little mirthful sound," causing more hilarity to ensue until the guests finally depart into the soft, falling snow. Tender and exuberant, playful and poignant, the text perfectly honors this merry occasion. Unfortunately, Gammell's uniformly chaotic artwork is a poor match. Almost the full color spectrum is represented in each spread, with black used mainly to delineate shapes rather than shadows, thus hindering readers' ability to perceive depth and focus. A few artistic choices also detract from the text, such as the baby's derriere-exposing pants (cute the first time, but distracting the fourth); the needless sloppiness of the guests (spilled dishes and drinks); and a reappearing "LOL" sign (when other indicators point to an era gone by). Moreover, despite the author's note on the Navajo First Laugh Ceremony, there are no appropriate ethnic elements in the illustrations. Enjoy it for the delicious, read-aloud text, but hide the illustrations. (Picture book. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442433519
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  • Publication date: 9/25/2012
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: NOOK Kids Read to Me
  • Edition description: No Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • File size: 22 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Tony Johnston is the award-winning author of more than 100 beloved children’s books. She lives with her family in San Marino, California, where she grew up.
Stephen Gammell is the beloved illustrator of more than fifty books for children, including Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman, which received the Caldecott Medal, and two Caldecott Honor Books: The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant, Where the Buffaloes Begin by Olaf Baker, and The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate Our School by Judy Sierra. Mr. Gammell lives with his wife, Linda, in St. Paul, Minnesota.
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