Busy at Daycare Head to Toe

Patricia Brennan Demuth, Author, Jack Demuth, Photographer
Patricia Brennan Demuth, Author, Jack Demuth, Photographer Dutton Books $14.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-45603-2
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Recommended reading for any youngster who is apprehensive about a new or upcoming day-care experience, the Demuths' (Joel: Growing Up a Farm Man) cheerful photo-essay focuses on a smoothly run center attended by a multiracial crew of preschoolers. Superimposed against neutral-toned drawings by the featured children, the photos include an attractive, balanced mix of group shots and close-ups, candids and posed pictures, portrayals of high-energy play and of activities requiring quiet concentration. Occasional circular and oval photos add visual rhythms, while colored triangles set atop corners of rectangular shots create the impression of holding photos in place. There are no tears and no squabbling: these preschoolers are shown as one big, happy family-away-from-family. The rhymed text, unfortunately, is less stimulating. The conceit has promise--describing how legs, arms and other body parts are kept occupied at day care--but the verses are singsongy and sometimes hackneyed: ""Your eyes are busy as can be,/ so many, many things to see:/ puzzles, building blocks, and toys,/ day-care friends, both girls and boys."" On the other hand, the familiarity of the rhyme scheme isn't likely to vex the target audience, for whom this book will present plenty of vicarious pleasures. Ages 2-5. (June)
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