Boisterous Mitchell and his resourceful dad are back in a hilarious father-and-son tale that celebrates working together with wit and warmth (Mitchell’s License, 2011).
Four-year-old Mitchell loves to knock things down: blocks, cups, papers—even his dad is fair game. Knowing his son’s proclivities, Dad finds a creative solution: the bowling alley! Loud crashes, colorful balls and cool shoes make this tyke feel right at home. But after he learns about the gutter and sees his dad’s strikes, Mitchell’s competitive fire runs hot. He tries everything to win. He hollers, he heaves, and then...he wants to go home. That is, until his dad suggests they be on the same team. Mitchell realizes that together, they can’t lose. The artwork, perfectly paced with the text’s comedic beats, is full of energy, physical comedy and emotion. Fucile’s style is reminiscent of the post-war–boom advertising that idealized America’s promise; still, it’s also current, bringing that same sense of hope to a more modern America. Here, the family is mixed-race; the mother works (possibly from home); and the dad is a full and actively engaged partner in the parenting process, showing patience, understanding, creativity and love.
Durand and Fucile are a winning combination, and their father/son bonding will leave readers in stitches. Loads of fun with a lot of heart. (Picture book. 3-7)