Blogger Laditan (The Honest Toddler) makes her picture-book debut with the story of a little girl who argues for her dad’s spot in “the big bed.”
“I am a reasonable person. I don’t want to see anybody get their feelings hurt.” So begins the confident protagonist’s preface to her argument for “the big bed.” Inviting Daddy to take a seat in her small pink plastic chair, the protagonist—a brown-skinned girl with two coily poofs—first compliments her dad’s skills as a giver of piggyback rides and wrestling opponent. While this makes him a VIP (Very Important Piggyback-ride giver), the crux of her argument follows: “Who does Mommy belong to?” There are just two choices: to the assertive protagonist or to her father (clearly not to herself!). The accompanying illustration belies the protagonist’s previously calm demeanor, portraying her true feelings through her angry eyes (and eyebrows) glaring out at viewers from the bottom of the page. The illustrations augment the hilarity of the protagonist’s further arguments and suggestions about where Daddy should sleep instead. When the little girl tells Mommy her plan, she is met with laughter (which she interprets as encouragement), and the final illustration makes it clear both parents (who are also black) are amused.
A smart, charmingly manipulative kid trying to get what she wants makes for a fun (and diverse!) story that both children and adults can enjoy. (Picture book. 4-8)