A preschooler impersonates a series of different characters in this debut picture book.
A blond white child named Declan (which readers learn only from the title) begins his day as Shaggy, a dog who likes to snuggle with his father. Soon, it’s time to be CatBoy, racing to his toys. Then, when Mama needs help with the garbage, he turns into Recycling Man. Declan transforms for each of his tasks, becoming Trunky the elephant to enjoy a snack and a T-Rex in time to floss. Lauder, a counselor, creates a realistic depiction of how an imaginative child’s mind works, flowing seamlessly from game to game—and allowing family members to join in and embrace his metamorphoses. The images by debut illustrator Sicolo always show Declan’s face, allowing his inventive guises to appear as costumes on each spread. The spare use of color and distinct black outlines encourage young readers to fill in their own hues, action, and whimsy as they read. The last spread finally reveals Declan as a sleepy boy, envisioning a beluga whale singing him to sleep, making this a potential bedtime favorite for families to read together.
This tale will surely empower creative youngsters to celebrate their sense of play—and encourage parents to support their children’s inner worlds.