My First Day by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page

The birth of a child is a special event that parents look back upon fondly: it’s an amazing thing, particularly for a mother who has carried the baby in her womb for close to 40 weeks, to finally be able to hold her newborn in her arms and nurse him/her. Although, to be perfectly honest, the first month — let alone the first day — of most babies’ lives seems to pass in a blur, with the parents experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions, ranging from exhilarating happiness and excitement to complete exhaustion and anxiety; on the other hand, babies themselves, upon being helplessly injected into the world, probably mostly care about two things in these early days of their lives: getting their fill of milk and sleep.

But not all babies are born helpless, as we find out in My First Day, a fascinating book about the “first days” of a wide range — 22, to be exact — of different animals, such as tigers, penguins, frogs, manatees, wildebeests and sea lions. We learn, for example that kiwi birds can look after themselves the moment they are hatched.

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The amazing torn- and cut-paper collages — reminiscent of What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? by the same authors — are beautifully detailed, while the facts that are highlighted are enlightening and engaging.

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Curious minds who want to learn more will also be happy to know that three pages at the back of the book are devoted to a more detailed write-up on the various animals that have been featured.

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