Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery for this nervous first-time dad.
Expectant parents Mini and Morris Mole prepare for the blessed event. Mini knits while Morris anxiously studies the happy babes in the barnyard, hoping he can replicate their daddies' natural behaviors. His attempt to hop like a bunny catapults him one-pawed over the toadstool, and he falls flat on his snout—and so on. Unable to copy any animal, Morris appears to be a natural klutz. Repeatedly, Mini gently redirects Morris after confirming that he is uninjured. “Good,… because our babies are on their way!” Morris' final fall is greeted with silence, and upon investigating he finds Mini cuddling their three new family additions. Morris' earnestness is endearing. Varied typography highlights word choices; decorative hearts surround "hand-lettered" verbs like “flapping” and "splashing." Panels reveal shifts in time and movement. There's an unforced fluidity in the parents' nonverbal communication. Unfortunately, the couple's good intentions are undermined by the simplistic slant. “Our babies only need love,” the proud mom explains.
Morris is one well-intentioned papa, though this sentimental message would be better served by a subtler storyline. (Picture book. 2-5)