A to-do list sure can be a drag.
The day starts promisingly enough with a young child-and-dad pair, both white, making pancakes together. Their joy is evident in the butterflies and stars that fill the spread…and then disappear abruptly as the two regard the list hanging on the fridge. The child finds some enjoyment in parallel play next to Dad as he washes the dishes, but skepticism sets in as Dad moves on to building the bookcase, and both are dissatisfied by the third item—vacuuming. Then brilliance strikes, and, green crayon in hand, the child amends the to-do list, now dubbed “Things To Do With Dad.” Dad takes to the ideas with relish, fully entering into his offspring’s imaginative play: making the beds is turned into sailing a pirate ship; hanging out the laundry becomes a circus; and watering the garden is a joint exploration of the jungle. The day ends with the two snuggled together underneath a tree in the yard, and the final page lists the child’s ideas of further things to do with Dad. Zuppardi’s acrylic-and-pencil illustrations have a charming, childlike quality, especially the young child, who is basically a 3-D stick figure with lines for hair, and his imagination truly runs amok when the child amends the list (the only words in the entire book).
With some imagination, even chores can be fun. (Picture book. 2-7)