Readers are in for a predictable, stereotypical comparison of how this particular mother and father differ in how they interact with their winsome daughter.
The text follows a strict pattern, stating what Mommy typically does and following with how “daddies do it different,” even though there is only one daddy/mommy pair depicted. Mommy is usually pleasant and proper and gets things done: “When Mommy feeds me breakfast…. I sit nicely at the table, munch a piece of toast….” Daddy indulges in somewhat foolish behavior: “We make a fort with waffles, get syrup on the dog, and eat cereal straight out of the box!” (Mommies sharing this with their children will wonder who gets to wash the dog.) Carter ably paints the contrasting scenes in what appears to be watercolor. Most of these dichotomies make logical sense. Mommy teaches her daughter to make sauces while Daddy gives a lesson on how to juggle eggs and so on. But some are less successful: “When Mommy gets her nails done, I sometimes get mine painted, too. When Daddy watches Sunday sports, I sometimes see him cry.” But on the last spreads mom and dad each tuck their daughter in, give her a kiss and tell her how much she is loved in “the exact same way.”
Unfortunately, this does not salvage the tale. Better choices abound, such as Marjorie Blain Parker and R.W. Alley’s When Dads Don’t Grow Up (2012) and Stephen Cook’s Day Out with Daddy (2006). (Picture book. 3-6)