A loving family learns and plays in this brightly colored picture book that promotes early literacy skills.
In this multiracial family, Daddy and Lenny have brown skin and tightly curled black hair, and Mommy has pale skin and straight black hair. The book opens as Lenny hides and Daddy sings and counts: “1 2 3 4 5 / Once I caught a fish alive. / 6 7 8 9 10 / Then I let it go again.” Each number is painted in a different color, which combines with the rhyme to engage young listeners in the learning. Lenny successfully eludes Daddy as a masterful hider, and Mommy and dog Wilbur complicate things for poor Daddy. Movement by the window is a wagging Wilbur, and a tap, tap, tap in the bathroom turns out to be Mommy fixing a light. A giggle under a bright red blanket with a lively print finally reveals Lenny, who is rewarded with lots of hugs and kisses. In companion title Lenny and Wilbur, the boy and his dog are best friends who enjoy each other’s company. It’s Wilbur’s bath day, which Wilbur obediently relishes. Lenny shampoos and brushes Wilbur’s fur, and Wilbur is rewarded with a treat. In his characteristic style of thick black lines and visible daubs of paint, Wilson-Max beautifully renders this happy family. In both books gentle repetition facilitates learning.
Equally apt as a picture book for older toddlers and a beginning reader. (Picture book. 2-6)