cover image ONE DAY, DADDY


Frances Thomas, , illus. by Ross Collins. . Hyperion, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7868-0732-1

The British creators of What If? here introduce Little Monster who, sitting in a spaceship fashioned from a plastic tub with taped-on wings, announces to his father that "I've got this problem." Representing a realistic balance of self-assurance and reticence, the youngster goes on to say that "maybe one day" he'll want to be an explorer and venture into space, which would mean he'd have to leave his parents behind. Thomas creates a narrative composed entirely of the winsome dialogue between the duo, and Collins's artwork follows the youngster on his prospective exploits, as he soars to the moon and then onto Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and finally "all the way out into space, beyond the planets," until he reaches the stars. When Little Monster promises to send home a moon rock, the elder monster plays along, noting that he would display it on the mantel. Father Monster's soothing voice serves to ground the child's fanciful flight; at one point he asks his aspiring explorer, "Won't you be lonely there?" to which the wise child responds, "Yes, but you have to be lonely to do some things." The artwork offers some playful perspectives as the earnest hero zooms through space in his makeshift spaceship. This amiable "What if" tale may well encourage the imaginations of even prudent youngsters while bolstering a fledgling feeling of independence. Ages 3-7. (June)