A split-page board book allows readers to mix and match the upper bodies and legs of animal daddies, a skeleton father and a human dad.
The offspring of the fathers are shown nearby looking adoringly up to their progenitors. On one page, a banjo-playing papa frog is surrounded by tadpoles at his feet, and on another, a dad dachshund carries one pup in his arms and two more in a backpack. The word “Daddy” appears above each of the critters’ heads, and the lower portion of the page features a playful one-liner that often rhymes with the caption preceding it: “Daddy beary legs / Daddy scary legs.” The bifurcated pages allow readers to mix up the legs and torsos, and a solid color background aids youngsters who prefer to match instead. Young readers may find the first image labeled “Daddy wrong legs” a little frustrating, since neither the rooster top nor the alligator (or crocodile?) legs have a match. Laden’s intensely colored gouache paintings using thick, black lines are droll and playful. Budding zoologists should note that this book does not strive for realism but playfulness, at which it succeeds neatly. The split binding may pose problems for library circulation, but it looks sturdy enough for home use.
Good, silly fun. (Board book. 2-4)