In perfect pairings, Tanco’s spare illustrations combine with brief text to show all the joys and wonders children introduce to their parents’ lives.
“I take you to places you’ve never seen…” shows the duo in their almost-empty living room, each in a separate cardboard box with a broom oar, colanders perched atop their heads, lost to imaginative play. With the turn of the page, “and get wet with you in the rain” pictures the two as the only bright spots of color amid a street lined with barely seen faces underneath stark black umbrellas. The father is gently smiling as he folds his umbrella, the yellow-slicker–clad child joyously dancing in a puddle. Especially appealing is the lesson on how to slow down: the two sit on the grass in a park watching a line of ants. The illustration choices have a definitely quirky European aesthetic, the scenes incorporating some Old World charm around the skinny, superelongated figures. Done in what appears to be pen and ink, pops of orange and yellow enliven the scenes and focus readers’ attention. The child is blond, the father dark-haired; both are paper-white. While readers may see a male pair, the pictures are fairly open, and these lessons could apply to any adult-child combination.
A charming reminder to stop and smell the roses with a child. (Picture book. 3-6)