Ages 0 - 4 & grown-ups
Years and years ago, when my aunt and uncle had one very precocious 3 year old, the census rolled around and required that they stipulate the head of the household. Well obviously that was the three-year-old, so that’s what they wrote. Perhaps not what the census designers envisaged but certainly the truth.
If you know a baby who is the head of the household – and aren’t they all in one way or another – you’ll get a laugh out of this book.
The Boss Baby is great fun because it’s so very true to life. The Boss Baby arrives and sets up his ‘office’ in the middle of the lounge room – he calls meetings in the middle of the night – and eventually he wears his parents/staff down to the point that he needs to pull out something big!
So he does. He says ‘Ma-ma? Da-Da?” And, just like that, he’s back in charge!
It’s funny stuff. The baby is wearing a suit, the parents look equally besotted and exhausted, as new parents do – and the baby’s list of demands seems endless.
For parents and grandparents, this is an inside joke.
For a child with a new and demanding sibling, it’s a recognition that the baby really is ruling everyone’s life for the moment - as well as a chance to share the inside joke. (This is helpful since it moves the child from the ‘kid’ side of the equation to the ‘adult’ side, creating an ally for the parent as well as offering another benefit to being an older sibling to the child.)
For older children who 'remember the days', it will be funny too. (Recognition that we once indulged in the same sort of behaviours that now seem demanding and, well, bossy can help with developing empathy and perspective.)
For a young child it’s really about the image of a baby bossing his parents around so wilfully that it's funny. (Everyone needs to feel a little in control from time to time.)
And for a baby – it’s the fun of the cheerful pictures and the slightly more relaxed tone in Mum and Dad’s voices as they get a reminder that they’re not Robinson Crusoe in this baby raising stuff.