So many choices in a seemingly simple day!
“What will Danny wear today?” Colorful socks pour out of his dresser, and the open wardrobe offers a rainbow of colors and patterns and styles. And so goes the day. Every double-page spread of options is dense with lively figures and raucous color. Will the brown-haired white boy choose a “crunchy, chewy, or wobbly” breakfast? What will he drink? He can pedal, skip, walk, ride, or zip to school, and what will he learn there? Painting…playing the piano...rocket building? Who will teach Danny today: the turbaned Sikh, the green ET with five eyes, Shakespeare? During physical education, will he “run, jump, or hit balls?” And at recess, “slide, swing, or seesaw?” What will he do for his after-school art activity? What will he do with his dad after that? At the end of the long day, which book will he choose? And here the book at last provides an answer: the very one readers are holding! Goodhart presents copious choices but (except for the end) never reveals what Danny has chosen. The cover’s claim that readers get to “decide” what Danny does is plain false. But Usher’s shaggy, busy illustrations, bristling with visual foolishness and populated by a multiracial cast, are a delight.
Readers will love the illustrations, but they might also feel cheated by the premise—disappointing. (Picture book. 3-5)