cover image Daddy Honk Honk!

Daddy Honk Honk!

Rosalinde Bonnet. Dial, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-18676-9

Aput the fox is soaking up some final summer rays with his Arctic buddies when he discovers that migrating geese have left behind an egg. It hatches, and the blue gosling that emerges immediately decides Aput is his “Daddy Honk Honk!” Though Aput is a good-natured sort, fatherhood was not in his plans. Luckily, his friends subscribe to the idea that it takes a tundra to raise a child, and they offer Aput supplies (a warm hat, food) and sound advice. “You must always keep an eye on your baby,” says Edda the whale, after the gosling nearly gets “squished” while playing with a rowdy cadre of sea creatures. Aput’s evolution from helpful bystander to committed parent makes for a lovely narrative arc, but even more touching is Bonnet’s (the Ella and Penguin books) portrait of a lively, caring community. The ink-and-watercolor drawings are a mixture of atmospheric minimalism and impressive detail (Aput is almost schematic, while a musk ox is magnificently shaggy), giving the pages a sweet, eclectic feel. Ages 3–5. [em]Agent: Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary. (May) [/em]