Four squeaky, sticky, sneaky and smoochy aunts are too, too much for birthday boy Bernard.
Everyone loves the boy to bits, but the aunts with their uber-affection lead him to open rebellion. Alas, not even donning a Spiderman outfit with helmet and sword saves him on his big day. Aunt Tallulah flips the visor and plants a “fat, smudgy one right on his nose!” Chastised by the other aunts, she apologizes, sort of, by asking for “a little huggles.” The saddened aunts do come up with a solution when the aforementioned Tallulah offers a paper kiss, leading to an afternoon of craft activities. Bernard has an artistic bent and is well equipped with glitter and glue. Still, the aunts have not destroyed his sweet nature. At bedtime, he gives his parents “a nice-and-simple / peck-on-the dimple.” Veteran author and illustrator Daly uses cartoon-style digital art to illustrate his diverse family assembly and one very appealing dachshund. He also pays homage to modern artists by displaying an interesting assortment of paintings on the white walls. A big, bold type highlights Bernard’s objections, while speech bubbles underscore the aunts’ exhortations.
An amusing look at a childhood dilemma, nicely resolved. (Picture book. 3-8)