Say hooray! by Renae Hayward and Rebecca Mills

cover image

An involving rhyming text sees two lines on each double page, the first  line being, ‘say hooray for baby …’ and a child’s name inserted at the end of the line. and then a following line says what they are doing in the illustration and rhymes with their name. This is a wonderful read aloud and predictive text for young readers and parents to read to even smaller children. And it begs interaction as they complete a pair of lines using their own child’s name.

Each page is brightly illustrated by Rebecca Mills, using bright eyed cheery babies interacting with their parents and siblings. The images reveal strong families and babies actively involved with their families and the things they do.The illustrators reveal each room of the house and what happens in there, again reinforcing the image of family life. Detail on each page will attract small children as they recognise things within their environment in the home and out of doors.

The simple rhyming text makes it easy to read aloud, stressing the ‘say hooray’, encouraging repetition and memory as the lines are read again.

Each achievement by the baby is a source of encouragement and celebration by the whole family, as the baby develops his/her skills. So we see baby Chris blowing a kiss, signing the kiss as it leaves her for her adoring father, baby Paul stands up tall, baby Kai waves goodbye, baby Ming has a song to sing. Each child has reached a developmental stage in their growth which is celebrated and recognised by their family.

Bright endpapers round off the book, and will attract eager fingers.

For more information about the Western Australian author and illustrator, see here.

Themes: Development, Family, Celebration, Rhyming text.

Fran Knight