This week I slipped a small board book in the mail, Nina Laden’s Daddy Wrong Legs (Chronicle, ages 2-4).
It was addressed to Catie and her Daddy meant for sharing and celebrating Father’s Day. The book is split in half, dividing upper and lower bodies of a few animal fathers. The top of each page is labeled “Daddy” and the lower part has words that describe that daddy. The cover, for example, points to the silliness inside; the top says “Daddy” and shows a bow-tied father dog with a pup in his arms. The lower half says “Wrong Legs” and shows a chicks surrounding rooster-looking legs. The illustrations are goofy, perfectly capturing the play for which the book is intended, or just as possibly, laughter that can come from intentionally wrong matching!
Some thinking is necessary to match the top and bottom body parts, but there are clues and different strategies to follow. Catie might use counting to match the number of spider’s upper legs to the eight sets of wacky footwear on the bottom half, creating the correct pairing, “Daddy Long Legs.” Or this book might launch a discussion about adult and their young. For example, Catie’s parents might point to the polliwogs at the feet of one bottom and ask “what daddy do polliwogs have?” to properly complete the “Daddy Frog Legs” picture.
Not until I reflected on this book did I realize one gift I receive from the G’ma-Catie Bookclub. A G’ma-Catie Bookclub perk is my reviewer-self being informed about which books really do work as I imagine. Will Catie be challenged by the ringers in the book, for there is no alligator match? This is a book that looked fun to me, but will it make her laugh, puzzle out the pairs, or get frustrated? Is it at the right developmental level so that she’ll be a bit challenged and ultimately satisfied? Will it be an activity she returns to?
Only Catie’s interaction will tell–report to follow!