cover image What Dads Can't Do

What Dads Can't Do

Douglas Wood. Simon & Schuster Books, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-82620-7

Wood's (Old Turtle) refreshing, spontaneous tale spotlights the rapport between a patient, apparently single father and his all-knowing child. The child narrator, like his dad a green dino in human clothing, shares his insights into the things ""that regular people can do but dads can't."" Perceptive kids will see that this father is both safety-conscious and one very good sportDand most well-loved kids will nod in recognition as they read how dads ""can't cross the street without holding hands"" and ""can't pitch a baseball very hard or hit one very far."" Cushman's (the Aunt Eater mysteries) equally wry watercolor and pen-and-ink art cagily picks up where the narrative leaves off: he illustrates the statement ""Dads aren't good at sleeping late"" with an image of the youngster pulling the covers off his father while the bedside clock reads 5:05; the father is shown purchasing a toy robot as his son accuses dads of having ""trouble holding onto their money""; and at bedtime, the child fearfully pulls his blanket up to his eyes as he notes that dads ""like to check under the bed for monsters."" This tongue-in-cheek tale ends on a forgivably sugary note: ""Most of all, whatever happens, a dad never stops loving you."" Just the right blend of sassiness and sentiment. Ages 3-8. (May)