The young woodpecker featured in this tale is a quick study: After one lesson from his daddy, he’s ready to practice pecking on his own.
With her signature palette of bold primary colors, Cousins’ gouache world of familiar objects is a toddler’s delight. There are a variety of household and backyard items to identify, colors and patterns to find and things to count. The thick, hand-lettered, black text lends itself to pointing out key words. The fledgling starts his tutorial with a single die-cut hole in a tree and ultimately becomes a bit dizzy as he finishes with 53 on a page; the scene is a laundry room peppered with pecks. A few of the rhymes are a bit bumpy: “So off I flew— / I couldn’t wait— / across the grass / and onto the gate.” Children, however, will be so busy finding the openings, sized just right for little fingers, they are not likely to care. The final pecks, sans holes, are loving kisses from a proud father.
From the sunny, see-through cover to the final bedtime snuggle, this day in the life of an overachiever (naughty by human standards) is sure to generate chortles and great interest. (Picture book. 2-4)