A celebration of what it is to be 2!
Toddlerhood often gets a bad rap—just think of the phrase “terrible twos.” But in O’Leary and Klassen’s hands, 2 is anything but terrible. Two is active, capable, vocal, compassionate, thoughtful, creative, determined…whole. Two is human in this picture book, and the narration’s direct address provides affirmation of toddlers’ human complexity and dignity from one spread to the next: “Now that you are two, you are learning about yesterday, today, and tomorrow. You are forming memories and making plans.” Accompanying illustrations depict a diverse range of children, different ones on each spread, which nicely avoids having any one depiction of toddlerhood falsely stand in as universal, who engage in activities that echo or expand on the text. Playful industriousness gives way to contemplative calm or mischievous determination, embodied in the faces and postures of the children. The dialectic between art and text offers some surprises, too, as when the line “Wherever you go your baby goes, too” is paired with a picture of a child in the bathtub—not with a baby doll but with a sudsy toy T. Rex.
Pick up a copy or two for the toddlers and toddler-fans in your life. (Picture book. 2)