FICTION

Dandy

Little, Brown. Apr. 2019. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316362955.
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PreS-Gr 2–Daddy Lion is appalled by something scary protruding from his front lawn, a sentiment his daughter, Sweetie, does not share. On the contrary, the dire weed growing in his yard is Sweetie’s best flower friend, Charlotte. Daddy’s friends urge him to act immediately: “A WEED. IT’LL TAKE OVER THE YARD! THE NEIGHBORHOOD! THE UNIVERSE!” Shovel in hand, jackhammer, cannon, clippers, even scabbard… nothing “executes” the job, when Sweetie persistently shows up to foil his attempts. Ultimately, the Dandelion that emerges multiplies into Charlotte Two, Three, Four, and more. Dyckman’s heartwarming, hilarious tale is flawlessly matched with Santoso’s vivid digital illustrations. The animal expressions are riotously priceless: Daddy Lion’s toothy astonishment when he spots the lone weed violating his lawn, the giraffe’s fierce glare of contempt, a bespectacled monkey’s astonished outcry as his hands are raised frantically in the air. Feelings change to tearful wails (Sweetie’s weepy face is tragically endearing) as they all join in to surgically revive/resuscitate Charlotte after a pair of shears accidentally land on her. This story is a wonderful celebration about the abiding love of fathers suitable for Father’s Day, in addition to a tale about springtime growth and renewal best shared when flowers begin to bloom. A focus on whether a dandelion is truly a weed or not should be discussed if part of a discussion about spring and planting. 
VERDICT A funny and inspiring read-aloud choice. Recommended for wide purchase

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