Hey world, meet the author of Baby Meets World—tonight | Bleader

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hey world, meet the author of Baby Meets World—tonight

Posted By on 04.02.13 at 02:11 PM

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"It's like The Omnivore's Dilemma, basically, but with more sucking," is how Nicholas Day describes his new book, Baby Meets World: Suck, Smile, Touch, Toddle. But I'd liken it to How Monkeys See the World: Inside the Mind of Another Species, a reader-friendly work in cognitive ethnology. Because in some ways babies do seem like another species, a sometimes inscrutable one. Burping we get, but why is that creature pointing? Turns out that the latter may be, in Day's words, "the most interesting mundane gesture ever," an action that serves not just as a way of indicating or declaring something ("that") but as a prelinguistic leg up on understanding what's in the mind of others and communicating what's in one's own ("funny, that"). And pointing is just one example.

A past contributor to the Reader, Day has been blogging on How Babies Work at Slate for some time now—time enough, in fact, for him and his partner to have had a second child/lab rat. His book, however, isn't just for breeders the targeted audience of WBEZ's latest fund-raising campaign. Instead it's, as he puts it, "an anti-baby book: funnier, with perspective instead of pressure, and with zero advice." Though speaking of pressure, it might make me a bit uncomfortable to learn that my baby was laughing at me rather than with me.

Day discusses Baby Meets World tonight at 6 PM at 57th Street Books.

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