A series of colorful, photographed spreads provides visual instruction and documentation of various tasks and skills for child readers to master.
From writing letters and numbers through identifying shapes and colors to setting the table and making lemonade, each spread provides affirmation and support of young readers’ burgeoning achievements and milestones. Unfortunately, even though the spreads are visually arresting, they are not always smoothly sequenced. The book starts well, encouraging children to identify their left and right hands and then to take up a pencil with one or the other to make numbers, letters and then words. But then an introduction of shapes and colors leads to the use of scissors, followed by identifying patterns and then dressing and other types of self-care. This results in a package that seems like a collection of posters or a catalog rather than a cohesive picture book. It’s difficult to imagine a reading transaction that would have children following through the book from one page to the next with rapt attention to the lessons they convey in order to have readers fulfill the title’s promise. Still, the use of plastic dolls to complement photographs of humans and diagrams is child-pleasing, and preschoolers who simply leaf through it may find themselves inspired.
Ultimately, haphazard structure undermines a visually engaging presentation. (Picture book. 3-6)