Rising above the standard fare in this genre, with their deadly prose and workaday illustrations, this offering is not afraid to state the obvious: Alex's mommy and daddy don't live together. Alex matter-of-factly explains it: "Daddy lives here. Sometimes I live with Daddy. Mommy lives there. Sometimes I'm with Mommy." Writing about a now-common experience for many young children, Masurel (Good Night!
, 1997) has successfully created a reassuring addition to the separated-parents bibliotherapy booklist. Alternating between Dad's and Mom's, Denton's watercolor, gouache, and ink illustrations display an intimate knowledge of the complete lives of the city-dwelling Mom and the country-living Dad. At Mommy's there's a big, comfy chair to cuddle up in and read; at Daddy's a child-sized rocking chair. There are separate but equal accommodations, too, including a dog at Dad's and an aquarium full of fish at Mom's. Alex is nearly gender-neutral, dressed in a kid uniform of cotton pants and shirt (red at Dad's and blue at Mom's) with straight hair bobbed at ear length. This portrayal allows all children the opportunity to identify with the young narrator. On page after page, Alex and his parents engage in the pleasant common activities of early childhood, from playing dress-up with an assortment of friends, taking a bath, and shucking peas at Dad's, to baking gingerbread men at Mom's. An extremely positive take on an often-painful subject. (Picture book. 3-5)Read full book review >