Mo Willems, the famous author behind the Elephant & Piggie book series, invites you to his user guide to the world for tiny humans. Opening the first page of Welcome reveals a mirror on the interior of this chipboard book so your toddler can gaze at the complexities of their existence. The subsequent pages will explain everything they’re experiencing around them.
Welcome is like an instruction manual for planet Earth (or at least a book of accommodations you would find in your room in a decent hotel). Activities immediately available to you include sleeping, eating, and popping, but a promissory note explains that more is to come. This is the kind of charming and silly humor parents will find in this book, but it is also quite touching. Nearly every page ends with a statement about how it’s best to do these things together.
Other highlights include music, cats, and stories. There are a few warnings about unavoidable bad times ahead, but also equally happy times full of love. My favorite page includes their user log-in code with a chart of fill-in-the-blanks, but the fine print reveals that they are not needed (yet). The last section very sweetly talks about what the newborn has to offer to the world, their unlimited potential, and the amazing joy they’ve already brought you, their parents. The final page gives a recap, as well as another chance for your baby to look at their bright, bubbly, happy face.
Rather than traditional illustrations, the artwork inside of Welcome is all in the form of warning signs and universally recognizable expressions. Mo Willems has a lot of fun with the color choices, with most pages limited to just two colors. But the highlight for little ones will surely be the two mirror pages.
Welcome would make a perfect gift for expecting parents or baby showers. It will make you laugh, smile, and want to hold your baby close as you prepare to help them explore their big new world. I regret to inform you that this user guide isn’t free to all tiny earthlings, and has a suggested retail price $15.99.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.