by Nina Laden
Chronicle Books 3/4/2014
Age 2 to 4 16 ½ pages
“Every daddy is different—mix-and-match the split pages to see how! A daddy can have frog legs, dog legs, or even bone legs! Can you find a pair like your daddy’s own legs?”
Well, this is a perfect Father’s Day book, only a couple of days late. But daddies need legs every day, not just on their special day. Open the book and you will see a “Daddy Wrong-Legs” on the left side and a “Daddy Long Legs” on the right side. Which is correct? Are either of them your daddy? If not, flip a page, or both pages. Little fingers can decide to turn only the top page or only the bottom page, instead of both pages. Whatever they chose to do a daddy will appear on each side. Keep turning until you find your daddy.
This is a cute book for kids learning to match things. Each half has a corresponding half somewhere that will make it whole. Not until the last two pages will kids find a daddy that looks almost like their daddy. He is standing with his little girl sitting on his shoulders and the house cat gleefully rubbing his leg hello. Until you get there, many other daddies lie waiting for its match or mismatch, whatever your child prefers. A little frustrating are the rooster top half and the alligator bottom half. The rooster’s lower half is unable to get below him and the alligator just doesn’t have a head. I would have loved to see the daddy alligator and his just hatched baby gators.
Daddy Wrong Legs has a daddy spider (not my favorite), elephant, frog, ape, teddy bear, octopus, skeleton, dog, and human—when correctly matched. Who is to say what is correct? Not me. Kids needing little help n look to the backgrounds that match top and bottom. Daddy Wrong Legs will entertain young children for quite a while as they mix-up the animals. I like the thick pages that will stand up to tiny fingers and PB&J sandwiches that squish onto the pages. The cover shows a “wrong daddy:” a daddy getting kisses from his pup has chicken legs and a couple of confused baby chicks. Turn the chicken legs page a couple of times and daddy dog has his doggy bottom half including a tail and one more puppy. I think kids will laugh heartily as they randomly turn the pages, getting all sorts of daddies never seen before.
Daddy Wrong Legs is an inventive book, maybe a bit of a novelty, yet loads of fun. Kids can work on their matching skills and have fun playing with the different pages to make oddball animals that will have them laughing. Daddy Wrong Legs needs no supervision after the first run through. The text is minimal. Mainly, the book encourages hands-on play young children will enjoy. With its cute animal halves, its strong pages that easily clean, and supervision-free enjoyment, Daddy Wrong Legs makes a perfect book for kids now insisting on doing things alone and their own way. Yep, your newly independent child will like making all the possible daddies. With some encouragement, kids might have stories to tell about their interesting daddies. Life-long joy of reading can begin with Daddy Wrong Leg, even when the reviewer misses Father’s Day.
DADDY WRONG LEGS. Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by Nina Laden. Reproduced by permission of Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.
Learn more about Daddy Wrong Legs HERE.
Also by Nina Laden