I’m not going to lie here. I don’t like these books. I find them boring and repetitive and lacking in any regard for parents or older children who might be forced to sit through a reading. I feel like they underestimate babies’ ability to appreciate even a wee bit of depth.
It doesn’t really matter what I think on this subject, though.
Because babies freaking love Karen Katz books.
These books are like baby crack. Karen Katz books are to babies like Hallowe’en candy is to preschoolers. Every time I whip one of these puppies out for my ten-month-old, and we have at least four of them despite never having purchased one or receiving one as a gift that I can remember — I swear they breed like cockroaches when our backs are turned — her face lights up as though I finally agreed to let her put the put that ball of dog hair in her mouth. She delights in the babies’ weirdly large heads; she loves the patterns on their shirts; she chortles with glee at every surprise under every flap (spoiler alert: it’s a baby).
Katz appears to be generating these books at approximately the same rate as my preschooler makes messes (I imagine her rolling around on piles of baby profit cash), so the selection can be a little overwhelming. That’s okay. They’re all exactly the same. You can just choose one at random; every baby in the world seems to be attracted to all Karen Katz books equally.
The books are bland and silly, but do not let that stop you. Buy some for your baby. Because we’re still not going to let them put the dog hair in their mouths, but at least they can look behind the beach ball and find out what’s behind it*.
*It’s still a baby.