South O’ the Highway

Jimmy Fallon to Read New Children’s Book in Sag Harbor

Host of The Tonight Show and Sagaponack resident Jimmy Fallon will be making a special Father’s Day weekend appearance at Harbor Books for a reading of his children’s book Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada.

The Sag Harbor bookstore has 800 copies waiting for eager patrons. “It’s going to be madness here,” said Chris Byrd, who has been a bookseller at the store since it opened last November. Byrd fully expects a line out the door for the book reading, which begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday.

This is the second children’s book from Fallon but the first one for pre-schoolers. Fallon admitted in a recent interview with NPR that there was no moral, no lesson to be gleaned from the pages. “It’s a selfish thing, I just want the baby’s first word to be ‘dada,’” said the dotting father of two young daughters, Winnie, who will turn 2 this summer, and Frances, 6 months old.

Fallon was candid about the fertility issues he and his wife, Nancy, encountered. It was a “tough time,” but the couple turned to a surrogate and Fallon says it was the “best thing that ever happened to us.”

The man who spent six years at Saturday Night Live, committing the cardinal sin of breaking character while simultaneously emerging unscathed and without criticism from Lorne Michaels, never thought he’d be the guy showing off baby pictures. Now, he says he has an “iPhone filled with baby pictures.”

It was his struggle to get his own daughters to say “Dada” that sparked the idea for the book. “I would try to trick her into saying, ‘dada.’ I would call everything in the house ‘dada.’ Like her bottle—I would go, ‘Dada time!’ You know, like, ‘Do you want another dada?’ … I really just want her to say dada.”

The book traces its way through the animal kingdom, from cows to sheep to dogs to rabbits and donkeys. Each “dada” animal urges its baby to say “dada” and each time the response is either moo! baa! woof! or, Fallon’s favorite animal noise—hee-haw!

“It really does teach the kids the sounds the animals make and it enforces exactly what Jimmy was hoping for,” said Taylor Rose Berry, the owner of Harbor Books and a Sag Harbor resident. The event came to fruition from what Berry says is the two just “being around town.” Fallon’s publishers wanted to do something “unique and special” and so Berry and Fallon figured out a way to make the event work.

“He is an incredibly gracious man—just an all-around good guy,” Berry said. Though she wouldn’t exactly say the two were friends, Berry says she’s certain everyone that comes into contact with Fallon probably goes on to consider him a friend. “It just exudes from his personality.”

Patrons purchasing a book the day of the event will use the book as a ticket to attend and those who pre-order a book from the store need to bring a receipt to enter.

“The past six months have been absolutely incredible,” said Berry, adding, “and things are just getting better.”

Harbor Books is located at 20 Main Street, Sag Harbor. The Jimmy Fallon book event is Saturday, June 20, at 11 a.m. Call 631-808-3401 for more information.

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