Parr encourages readers to see mistakes as opportunities with characteristic élan.
In his ineffable fashion, Parr delivers a reassuring mashup that’s part Keith Haring and part Sesame Street. Parr’s signature drawings with bold, black outlines and vibrant colors depict various characters making various mistakes and then making the best of the situations that arise from them. The accompanying text names those missteps and then shows the silver lining to each one on a facing page. For example: “It’s okay to get dirty,” reads one verso, and the facing recto responds, “A bubble bath is lots of fun.” Starting with the cover art that shows a dog with socks on its ears and a child wearing boxer shorts like a hat, silly details abound to keep the message from overpowering the feel-good fun of its presentation. In addition to his trademark purple-, orange- and red-skinned humans, Parr includes a bevy of animals from dogs and ducks to skunks and elephants. Examples of “mistakes” range from genuine goofs (falling down, tangling shoelaces) to character traits (shyness), behaviors (losing one’s temper) and developmental differences (not knowing an answer in school), but the “look on the bright side” response is always on-target.
This picture book is A-OK. (Picture book. 2-6)