Various animal dads show how they care for their young in this gently rhyming book ideal for bedtime.
Spreads familiarize readers with nine species of animals found in different regions of the world and in different habitats (a concluding world map shows their locations), providing color recognition practice and introducing similes and metaphors along the way. “Across a field of HAZY YELLOW, / this lion stalks a lazy fellow. / He charges Dad with baby claws. / This father’s love has velvet paws.” Backmatter gives a bit more information about each of the nine species, which helps readers parse the midwife toad that sits with eggs around his backside in one spot illustration and with tadpoles swimming about him in another. A penguin dad keeps his chick warm, a fox keeps his family safe by digging burrows (and by providing food: In the illustration, he has a gray rodent in his mouth). A marmoset dad carries his baby, a sea horse hatches his young, and falcons, wolves, and emus round out the animals. A final spread of diverse human dads and babies sharing hugs, snuggles, books, and sleep is the perfect nightcap. Most of Holt’s rhyming couplets scan well. Chan’s pen-and-pencil outlines are filled with digital color; parallel hatched lines indicate fur in the stylized illustrations, keeping the animals from appearing overly cute; none are anthropomorphized.
A sweet bedtime book about fathers and how their “love is everywhere.” (Picture book. 3-7)