Albert Whitman. Apr. 2019. 24p. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780807565520.
Toddler-PreS–A cheery, colorful story about a playdate for a tutu-wearing Dachshund and four preschoolers. The day begins with drop-off and then a walk to the playground. Then it’s back inside for drawing, playing instruments, stories, and imagination games. The day ends with a hug and a wave goodbye. Pictures carry the story. Each page features just two words, rhyming with the subsequent word pair. Sometimes words are paired as opposites—high/low, happy/sad—while other pairs identify objects in the pictures—table/chairs, red/blue. Preschoolers will need more explanation than the scant text provides; the pictures will need to be studied and discussed for sufficient comprehension. For example, a lesson in sharing occurs as one girl offers another watermelon. On the same page, however, the dog steals a cookie. The accompanying text simply reads, “Good.” and “Bad.” Colorful, whimsical digital artwork uses soft-edged lines and translucent colors to convey a cozy, pleasant atmosphere. Minimal backgrounds focus attention on the subjects, causing the characters to pop out from the white page. Kids will easily see themselves in these characters’ emotions and activities.
VERDICT A fun, nonessential purchase.

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