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Sunday, July 19, 2020

This Is My Daddy!, by Mies Van Hout. Pajama Press, 2020. $22.95 ages 2 and up

"Who is my Daddy?

This is my Daddy!

Who is my Daddy?

This is my Daddy!

Who is my Daddy?

This is my Daddy!"

And so it goes with a tadpole, a baby snail, a newborn hippo ... and so on. Little ones are invited to take part in reading both the repetitive question and its accompanying answer. The question and the creature asking face a page with four choices each time. It affords growth in vocabulary, practice in reading (even for little ones), and a good deal of fun for all. Kids love interactive books, and are generally happy to read them again and again. They like the success that comes with knowing the pattern and the answer.

Each choice is made from a set of four dads. All have things in common, but only one is the Daddy. The baby rhino chooses from blue/green images of an elephant, a rhinoceros, a hippopotamus, and a crocodile. Talk can lead to the difference between a rhino and a hippo, habitat, the fact that each has four legs, etc. Once the child listener has made a decision, a turn of the page provides a full-page answer spread of father and child enjoying each other's company. 

Some of the creatures are less easily identified than others. That will lead to further learning as explanations will ensue. For the very young, it won't be as important as it is the older toddler. Both will garner enjoyment and new learning from sharing it.

Perfect as a bright and appealing gift for a new baby, or to be included in a book basket meant to start a brand-new home library. Mies Van Hout is a talented writer and illustrator whose bold colors are distinct and appreciated by young readers.

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