The new Terrific Toddlers series explores toddlerhood’s trials and jubilations.
The book’s opening page juxtaposes an illustration of first-aid supplies with expository text that reads, “Sometimes we get boo-boos! Sometimes boo-boos hurt, and sometimes they are scary.” The next spread shifts to a narrative about a little girl named Jo-Jo who appears black, with light brown skin and hair done up in two twists. When she falls and hurts her chin, her father (who shares her coloring) comforts her, and then he uses the first-aid supplies from the first page to treat her small wound. While the text provides good modeling for adult readers to use to validate, calm, and distract kids with minor injuries such as this, the watercolor illustrations falter in their characterization of Daddy and his expressions. His vacant, distant stares on some spreads are anything but comforting. This artistic misstep is apparent in the companion titles, All Mine! (about helping toddlers share) and Bye-Bye! (about dealing with everyday separation anxiety). Both of these latter books feature multiracial casts of characters, and all three have a backmatter “Note to Parents and Caregivers” expanding on their respective focuses. Sadly, they also all include flawed depictions of adults whose facial expressions are difficult to read, which seems especially damning in books about adults helping children with emotional regulation.
Potentially helpful but far from terrific. (Picture book. 1-4)