Tanco mostly nails it: Life is about the little things, which add up to time spent together, and what’s more important than...

MOM AND ME, ME AND MOM

Tanco follows his odes to father-child and brother-brother relationships (You and Me, Me and You: Brothers, 2018, etc.) with this one dedicated to mothers and children.

As in his previous titles, the author keeps readers on their toes with the page turn. The tiny tyke in these pages tests both her mother’s flexibility (standing on her leg as the mom does an inverted yoga pose) and, on the next page, her reflexes (mom dodges a kicked ball). Every parent will relate to at least a few of the scenarios presented here: Children certainly show their parents a new sense of style, notice things they do not (the museum’s water cooler rather than the art), and follow their lead (the two read back to back in the grass), and they do have a way of improving the mood after a long day of work. But one line spoken by the child narrator rings concerning: “I…keep your secrets safe.” Pops of orangey-red are the only spots of color, the rest black or gray against mostly white pages. Whereas the child in You and Me, Me and You, concerning fathers, was largely ungendered, the child here wears a dress and a girl’s bathing suit. Mother and daughter resemble each other, with red-outlined curly/scribbly hair and pointy noses. Both are paper-white.

Tanco mostly nails it: Life is about the little things, which add up to time spent together, and what’s more important than that? (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: March 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4521-7190-6

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: March 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration.

I LOVE DADDY EVERY DAY

Children point out the things they love about their fathers.

“Daddy is always kind. He gives us support and shelter when things go wrong.” A child with a skinned knee (and downed ice cream cone) gets a bandage and loving pat from Daddy (no shelter is visible, but the child’s concerned sibling sweetly extends their own cone). Daddy’s a storyteller, a magician, supportive, loyal, silly, patient, and he knows everything. A die-cut hole pierces most pages, positioned so that the increasingly smaller holes to come can be seen through it; what it represents in each scene varies, and it does so with also-variable success. The bland, nonrhyming, inconsistent text does little to attract or keep attention, though the die cuts might (until they fall victim to curious fingers). The text also confusingly mixes first-person singular and plural, sometimes on the same page: “Daddy is like a gardener. He lovingly cares for us and watches us grow. I’m his pride and joy!” Even as the text mixes number the illustrations mix metaphors. This particular gardener daddy is pictured shampooing a child during bathtime. Más’ cartoon illustrations are sweet if murkily interpretive, affection clearly conveyed. Troublingly, though, each father and his child(ren) seem to share the same racial presentation and hair color (sometimes even hairstyle!), shutting out many different family constellations. Más does, however, portray several disabilities: children and adults wearing glasses, a child with a cochlear implant, and another using a wheelchair.

Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12305-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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