cover image You Can Do Anything, Daddy!

You Can Do Anything, Daddy!

Michael Rex, . . Putnam, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-24298-4

It's bedtime, which means it's a perfect time for a boy to ask his father one of the most important questions of all: "Daddy, if I got taken by pirates, would you save me?" "Of course, Son," the man assures him, which only encourages the boy to spin out increasingly more elaborate perils. They culminate in the child's abduction by "robot gorilla pirates from Mars," who have a nefarious plan to shoot him into space. However, Daddy, who may look mild-mannered, nonetheless possesses the guts and ingenuity worthy of Indiana Jones, and can take whatever his offspring's imagination dishes out. Rex (Truck Duck ) depicts each of the vignettes with bold, vivacious cartooning, and youngsters should get a kick out of watching the pirates mutate from skuzzy buccaneers into something resembling lizard-like androids. And after father and son's mutual whimsies conjure up a decisive defeat of the villains—thus proving the irrefutable truth of the title—it's time for the boy to prove he's a chip off the old block by offering some impressive assurances of his own (hint: they involve proffering bandages and kissing boo-boos). Good, goofy fun, and an ultimately heartwarming homage to the father-son bond. Ages 4-up. (Mar.)