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Monday, October 29, 2018

He's Your Daddy! Ducklings, Joeys, Kits and More. Written by Charline Profiri and illustrated by Andrea Gabriel. Dawn Publications, Fitzhenry & Whiteside. 2018. $22.95 ages 3 and up

"If you were a fry,
so teeny tiny,
Your daddy might be a
seahorse that's spiny.

If you were a kit with
teeth like a cleaver,
your daddy might be a
wood-chomping beaver.

If you were a hatchling ... "

As I have often said: kids love books about animals that teach them something new. Here, they will add to their repertoire of understanding the natural world by learning the infant term given to a dozen young animals whose names are not the same as their daddy's name.

Most of the animals presented will be familiar. The repetitive rhythmic text is accompanied by lovely mixed-media artwork that places each pair in familiar surroundings and natural settings. The double- page spreads help readers familiarize themselves with the terms used to describe the baby/daddy match. That pair of names is shown in boldface, italic print, helping keep attention on the new words to be learned. There is a twist at the center of the book that reveals a surprise - much appreciated by many, I am sure. The final spread of the text will please all dads!

Following that the book is enriched by the addition of very useful backmatter. A matching game with an answer key, and thumbnail photographs of each animal presented and accompanied by a short paragraph of additional information are meant to help children explore even more.

"Sugar gliders are small marsupials that live
in Australia. They glide through the trees at
night. Sweet sap is one of their favorite foods.
A joey starts to ride piggyback two weeks
before leaving its mother's pouch."

Following that, suggestions are made for parents and teachers on furthering the learning: how daddies help care for their babies, a chart of other daddies whose babies share the same names, tips for reading aloud, and the science and math connections that might be made while sharing this book. There is even a website code to be scanned that will lead to useful online resources for this book and others from Dawn Publications.

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