This book was my Father’s Day gift to KrA in June 2017, shortly before D turned a year old. It is a hilarious collection of several animals’ and birds’ endeavours at coaxing their offsprings to say “Dada”. And the little ones, wise as they inherently are, preciously reply with “moo” or “quack” or “hee-haw” or “baa” or “neigh” as the case may be.
If I remember correctly, this is the book from which D learnt to identify animals and birds and what they say. At mealtime, whenever carrots were part of the menu, we’d prop up the book on the kitchen counter turned to the page with the image of a bunny holding out a carrot to his dada. D recently took a renewed liking to this book a few weeks ago and pointed out that all the Dadas are wearing grim expressions while all the babies are happy.
In keeping with the phenomenon of happy endings that most books shower on us, all the Dada animals and birds eventually experience a moment of triumph when they line up their babies and manage to get them to say “Dada!” Only the duckling insists on remaining true to her nature and says “quack” right until the very end.
Fallon, of the Saturday Night Fever fame, shares a funny anecdote about the origins of this book on the blurb. I completely missed it during my purchase but KrA, delighted with the privilege of having to read this book countless times to D, discovered it. Apparently, the book stems from Fallon’s own attempts at getting his daughter Winnie Rose to blurt “Dada” as her first word. But who can stand against the indomitable will of a child? Naturally, she chose “Mama”. And so did D!