Before we get started, let me be honest and disclose that Elmo's voice drives me up the wall. Why is he the star of that production nowadays? When I was a kid, Big Bird might have been the Big Kahuna, but he had plenty of help from the rest of the gang. Turns out I'm not alone; since a simple search quickly introduced me to "Little Red Menace," a nickname given to him by people full of far more hatred on the subject than me. Anyway, I needed to get that out because he is given a more prominent role in this book than any other puppet.
*Very professional photography mixing real babies and the Sesame Street characters provides a birthday feast for the eyes
*It's a very interactive book that allows your child to probably do more talking than you by the time you are finished
*Reminding kids that someone has to clean up after the party is over is smart, and who better to get the point across than a happy Oscar
*There are a couple of questions posed that are meant to be read aloud and might frustrate children who tend to be more literal and less imaginative -- like when it asks about the unknown contents of a bag
*You know how they say HD television has hurt certain newspeople's careers because overly detailed closeups of their faces scare the public -- well the food page in here does the same thing because the baby with the cupcake remnants on his tummy (unlike the crumbs on his hands and face) make the book look dirty
*As a family that had good intentions but does not go the cloth diaper route, it was not lost on me that all of the babies' bottoms were covered in natural fibers (might be seen as a positive by many people, but I would have liked to have seen a little diaper diversity)
ONE DAD'S OPINION
When I started this review, I was sure I was going add it to the Donate bin. By chance, I flipped the book over to the back and all of a sudden I had a change of heart that led me to see Baby Party's generally positive qualities. Upon reflection, I now realize that Red Rage had clouded my mind, brought on by the presence of it who shall not be named (again) right there on the cover. But I digress. As birthday party primers go, it's pretty good. Outside of that, it seems a little out of place for everyday reading. Borrow it when you need it...