Book Review: Goony Goo-Goo And Ga-Ga Too
Book Reviewed by Kelly Starling Lyons
Drawing inspiration from her own children, author Kia Morgan Smith has written a fun picture book about the trials and triumphs of siblings getting used to a new little one. Goony Goo-Goo and Ga-Ga Too! (AuthorHouse, 2010) opens with sisters Selena and Celeste complaining about their baby brother. "He looks like a pickle. He looks like a prune." From spitting up to crying and smelling bad, the baby gets on their nerves. Then Mom beckons them closer and the girls invent a special language to communicate with him. Wild imaginings ensue until Mom and baby turn the tables and the girls see their little brother in a new way.
A rhythmic story, a few near rhymes felt forced such as "old" and "decode,"
"balked" and "talk" and "nice" and "spite" and the meter is awkward in
places, but the lively refrain punctuated with echoes of the book's title,
"‘Goony-Goo Goo,' said Selena. ‘Ga-Ga ,' said Celeste . . . " will have kids
chanting along and coming up with their own baby talk. Older siblings will
get a laugh as the sisters make up a long list of chores for the baby.
Parents will feel comforted by the girls' eventual acceptance of their
little brother – and amused by the wink at the end. The playful
illustrations by Brandon Fall complement much of the text and bring the
emotions of the girls, Mama and baby to life. Fall effectively varies the
expressions to convey a range of feeling from Mama's contentment with baby
and the girls' disgust to the sisters' sense of wonder when baby wiggles his
fingers and baby's joy at being embraced.
Goony Goo-Goo and Ga-Ga Too! is an amusing story with appeal for parents hoping to help children adjust to having a new baby in the family.