But for Sprout's mama and daddy, it was a much harder milestone, and yet another guidepost on the road to growing up. Oh, we know it's inevitable. We see it every day, in all the little ways his independence is coming out. And we hear about it, too, as in "When I get big. . . " and "I'm almost big enough for. . . ". It's enough to drive a mama crazy.
Fortunately Sprout's not too big for bedtime reading, nor do I anticipate that he will be any time soon. And today's pick speaks directly to his wish to be grown up -- Harriet Ziefert's Bigger Than Daddy. I love this fun title, all about one special day in the life of Edward and his daddy. Like Sprout, Edward can't wait to be big, as big as Daddy, or better yet, bigger! There are so many things he wants to do, like ride a racing bike or run fast as a fire truck. And Edward's daddy assures him that one day, Edward will be big enough for all those things.
But that's not quite good enough, so when the pair get home from the park, Edward decides a little role-reversal is in order. And so a game is in order, where Daddy is the little kid and Edward the big grownup -- which works out just fine until Edward discovers he's hungry, and Daddy's still being a little boy who can't make dinner for the pair. Suddenly Edward realizes that being a little guy and having a daddy to look after him seems just right.
This is a terrific story about the importance of the roles we each play in our various family dynamic. Kids will of course relate to Edward's desire to be big, and the frustration of feeling like that will never happen. And parents will empathize with Daddy's wish to keep Edward from growing up too soon. The illustrations done by Elliott Kreloff are just right for Ziefert's light tone, done in a sketchy style that mimics a child's own drawings (reminiscent of David Shannon's David books). In Sprout's case, the pictures are what keeps him coming back to this one - that cover art, with the face of a gleeful Edward aloft on his daddy's shoulders, is just so darn hard to resist!
If your little one is growing up a smidge too fast, or if you hear "When I get big. . . " as many times a day as we do, Bigger Than Daddy is a great choice for your next library trip. Because as big as they want to be, they'll still love snuggling together to read this sweet story of a boy and his dad.
Bigger Than Daddy by Harriet Ziefert, published by Blue Apple Books
First lines: "Edward was small. He wanted to be big."
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