cover image LITTLE ONES DO!


Jana Novotny Hunter, , illus. by Sally Anne Lambert. . Dutton, $14.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-525-46690-1

The comfort and security that preschoolers find in their daily routine is at the heart of Hunter's (It's a Terrible Age to Be) and Lambert's (Simon Says) sweet-natured story. A dragon family's day begins with a mother and father getting a wake-up call from their green-scaled, winged tyke, "Because that's what Little Ones do!" And so the day unfolds with dressing, eating and washing, with parents rushing and Little One dawdling. Then it's off to "fun playing all day long," at dragon day care, which ends when "families come to pick [children] up," as Hunter reassures her audience, "Because that's what families do!" The day draws to a close with plenty of postdinner quality time from Mommy and Daddy, a song from Little One and a snuggle. Lambert's sherbet-toned, softly textured watercolors exude warmth through details in the parent-child interactions; alphabet blocks, a wooden train and the toddler's ever-present teddy bear companion dot each child-centric landscape. Perhaps most important for this audience, the dragon parents exude bottomless reserves of patience, orderliness and affection. Ages 2-5. (July)