In the war against weeds, there’s no match for a father’s love.
The front endpapers paint the setting perfectly: a suburban street of neat houses with lawns and shrubs manicured to within an inch of their lives, the adult caretakers grooming them while their children play. A turn of the page, and Daddy is reacting with consternation as he spies “something scary on his perfect lawn.” He’s too late, though: His daughter, Sweetie, has adopted the weed—sorry, flower—as her best friend, “Charlotte.” “Daddy hoped his friends wouldn’t notice.” But they do. And they pressure Daddy to take care of the weed that threatens the whole species-diverse neighborhood. But though he tries numerous times (“book time,” naptime) and in numerous ways (shovel, mower), Sweetie is somehow “always there” with Charlotte. The neighbors add more pressure; Daddy’s tactics grow wilder. And then Sweetie leaves for swim lessons: the perfect opportunity. But Daddy chokes. When something is suddenly “WRONG” with Charlotte, Daddy looks into his daughter’s teary eyes and knows what he must do. And the rear endpapers show that the neighborhood tough-guy talk was just that, the fathers now joining their children in their play, dots of yellow on their lawns. The digital illustrations are a riot, both Daddy’s obsession and Sweetie’s sweetness and innocence coming through loud and clear.
Hopefully this will spread around suburban neighborhood families just like Charlotte’s seeds. (Picture book. 4-8)