Hello wonderful readers! It has been quite a moment since my last book review! I've cut Tuesday From The Trenches down to every other week, so I'm excited to start sneaking some more book reviews in again. Have I mentioned just how much I adore picture books? They are seriously magical. I have loved them since my earliest days, sitting on my mom's lap, completely carried away by beautiful, funny, amazing stories.
I was so excited when Bea Birdsong reached out to me offering a copy of her newest book, Sam's First Word, illustrated by Holly Hatam. I've been lucky enough to have Bea along for some of my fundraising events, and she was kind enough to critique some of my work before I signed with my agent, Emily, so I'm always so happy to hear from Bea. Her debut picture book, I Will Be Fierce (illustrated by Nidhi Chanani) was incredible, so I knew that I was in for a treat with this new book!
You can tell just from looking at this cover that this book is going to be funny!
Slight side note: I really love and appreciate just how different this book is from I Will Be Fierce. I myself have really broad tastes as I write, so I love seeing authors who write across genre. I Will Be Fierce is more of an inspirational concept book (and FANTASTIC by the way), and Sam's First Word is humorous. Bea really shows her versatility with this one and I'm loving it.
Now more about the book. My daughters were roaring laughing. We literally read it three times in a row after opening the package. Kids love poop jokes, right?
Sam's First Word is not only funny for kids, it's adorably relatable for parents. I remember well hoping that "Mama" would be my daughter's first word. (And of course, it was Dada... as was my second daughters. Sigh). In Sam's First Word, we watch her parents, Nana, and even her neighbor all compete to get their names as Sam's first word. Songs, stories, pictures, and poems all try to sway Sam to say Mama, Papa, Nana, or even Mr. Theotopolous! While the grownups are all distracted in their pursuits, Sam has already said her first word! And needs some help. She has to take matters into her own hand to get what she wants.
Like I said, my girls were completely obsessed with this book. Not only did we read it three times in a row upon receiving it, we've read it at least once every day since! I love the cute and simple text that still tells such a fun and compelling story. I will admit that I was a bit surprised by some of the illustrations. I don't know that I've ever seen a picture book with a frontal view of a naked baby. There are no anatomical details, so it was no biggie, but it was slightly surprising on first read. My girls didn't even think anything of it though. The illustrations are bright, fun, and engaging.
I absolutely recommend picking up a copy of Sam's First Word!