Jimmy Fallon Pays Tribute to Grandmas With New Children's Book 'Nana Loves You More'
Jimmy Fallon is paying homage to all the grandmothers out there with his latest children's book, Nana Loves You More, out March 29. The host of the Tonight Show is calling it his favorite one yet because of its sentimental value.
With colorful and playful illustrations by Miguel Ordóñez, the rhyming book features a grandma panda explaining to her grandkid the magnitude of her love. Grandma panda makes it clear her love exceeds any object, place, special moment, or anything else the little panda comes up with.
"I think nanas or grandmas will all be like, 'Yeah, this is kind of what I've been trying to say. I love you so much; I love you more than anything you can think of,'" explains Fallon, who points out it's also a fun gift pregnant people can give to their parents as a way to announce that they'll soon be grandparents.
The dad of two—Winnie Rose, 8, and Frances Cole, 7—has fond childhood memories of his own grandparents, who lived in his family's backyard. "Not in like a tent or anything," he jokes. "They had a cottage. And so, when I came home from school, if my parents were working, I'd hang out with my grandparents until they got home." Those afternoon hangouts, he adds, brought music, cooking, and comedy into his life.
True to his funny nature, Fallon's start in the children's book world was what he calls a joke with 2015's Your Baby's First Word Will Be Dada. "I just wanted to see if your baby's first word will be 'dada' just by repeating the word over and over again, you know?" he says. (He got his wish with Frances, not Winnie.) But then, the book became a New York Times bestseller and Fallon started receiving videos of fathers reading it to their kids, some of whom were also saying the words back. It was inspiring. Then came Everything Is Mama, This Is Baby, and 5 More Sleeps 'Til Christmas.
When thinking of the angle for his latest children's book, Fallon felt it was time to do something to celebrate the special bond many grandparents have with their grandkids. He thought of his wife Nancy Juvonen's late dad who would always respond, "I love you more," when they'd tell him, "I love you." It was a simple yet meaningful response that stuck with him. And it was the perfect message for his book, which he dedicated to all the "nanas" in his life, including GG, what his late mother, Gloria Fallon, preferred her grandkids call her.
As for his little ones, Fallon says they are big readers and they are now at the age where they all can read together as a family. "I force my kids to read my books, too," he jokes. And some other family favorites through the years include Good night, Gorilla and anything by Mo Willems.
"I like things with colors, things you can point at," he says. "I also like books that are like long enough so it counts as a book, but short enough that I can go, 'OK, let's go to bed. I read you three books, now it's time to go to sleep.'"
Jokes aside, Fallon hopes his new children's book will give families another perfect excuse to bond. "Reading with your kid is so important, even when they're infants," he says. "Just start reading and make it a habit and get them involved and get them interested in reading. I think it's such a payoff, that you'll never regret it."