In trying to find out what Baby says on Christmas, readers encounter lots of sounds animals make.
This board book follows a predictable question-and-answer format. “On Christmas, does Baby say MEOW MEOW MEOW??” gives way with the page turn to “No! On Christmas, Kitten says MEOW MEOW MEOW!” The text explores who says “woof,” “tweet,” “ribbit,” and “glub,” at the end revealing what a chubby, Santa hat–topped Baby says (“HO HO HO!”) beside a tree-shaped mirror inviting readers to say it, too. The structure is certainly appropriate for little readers, who will enjoy playing along, but it comes across as a forced Christmas version of Highlights’ Who Says Uh-oh? (2019). The illustrations are largely photographs with added computer-generated, clip art–style images of gifts, stockings, and snowflakes. If it weren’t for those little touches, that last tot with the Santa hat (also the cover picture), and the words “Ho ho ho,” the book wouldn’t seem to be related to Christmas at all. The Santa baby and two others are pale-skinned or present white; one other appears Asian, and two seem black. While the babies and animals are certainly cute, overall, the illustrations don’t rise above that. This type of book is a dime a dozen, and this iteration doesn’t do anything to stand out, charm, or grab readers.
More ho-hum than ho ho ho. (Board book. 6 mos-2)