Daddy and Me

little bee. Apr. 2023. 20p. Board $8.99. ISBN 9781499813517.
PreS-Gr 2–In this tender concept book, a series of brief snapshots depicts loving interactions between children and their fathers. Urda’s narration shifts seamlessly from one distinct voice (“Sometimes I let him win”) to the next (“I call him Daddio”), celebrating the fragile beauty of small moments. All of the people have different rituals, shared activities just right for them: cooking, surfing, stargazing, gardening, sewing. Each father’s unique nickname (Dada, Papi, Appa, Baba) reflects the deep linguistic and cultural tradition of the family’s ethnic background (African American, Latino, East Asian, South Asian). In one touching spread, a child with crutches is cared for by a non-biological father figure (“Pappy is like my dad—he helps me ride my bike”). Butcher places the happy duos, trios, and quartets in lush, natural environments—a wave-swept beach, a starry night sky, a meadow in bloom. The characters receive additional depth from the inclusion of subtle details (cowboy boots and hat, rainbow suspenders, an apron with Mexican flags) that hint at rich, full lives. The warm, hazy textures of the art beckon readers into the coziness of each scene.
VERDICT A sweet and worthy addition to family-themed collections, particularly those needing more titles with father-child relationships.

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