So sweet it just might make your teeth hurt, though there’s not much to chew on.
O’Hair and Dockray’s day-in-the-toddler-life collaboration follows Baby’s busy day with rhyming text that preserves meter by locking readers into a singsong rhythm. “Mama’s there. / Never misses / When she gives / Baby kisses.” Mama is exhausted by day’s end, but Baby (now clad in pajamas) is raring to go. Perhaps Mama is so tired because she’s been alone with her rambunctious child all day: A father appears in an early picture, reading the newspaper, dressed for work, briefcase by his side and looking aghast as Baby makes a mess at her highchair while Mama sweetly smiles. Unmentioned in the text, the only other time he appears is in a washed-out family portrait hanging on the wall. Illustrations also add unmentioned pets but otherwise stay tied to the text without elevating or extending it. Worse yet, the cover art sadly presents an awkwardly rendered depiction of the all-important “sweet baby feet,” which here look out of proportion and poorly drawn, especially compared to other picture-book paeans to feet—Kiyomi Konagaya and Masamitsu Saito’s Beach Feet (2012), and C.W. Bowie and Fred Willingham’s Busy Toes (1998), to name just a pair.
Step on by this one—similar, better books abound. (Picture book. 6 mos.-3)