Daddy Dressed Me (Michael Gardner & Ava Gardner)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Daddy Dressed Me, written by Michael Gardner and Ava Gardner, and illustrated by Nadia Fisher, a touching dad-and-daughter story about how mutual love and support can inspire us to do our best.

Ava’s dad is incredibly creative and crafty; he makes delicious dinners, paints flowers on her bedroom walls, and made her a shiny crown for her last birthday! But his greatest skill is sewing, and Ava is always excited to show off the stylish dresses he sews for her. One day at school, Ava learns that during the Move Up Day ceremony she will be presenting a piece of poetry – memorized! – and will need to dress to impress. Obviously, Ava turns to her dad, and the two decide on a plan: Daddy will help Ava memorize her poem, and Ava will design and help craft a spectacular dress, one that will give her confidence. Together, this father-daughter duo can’t fail, but can they complete their projects in time?

Heartfelt, warm, and affirming. Based on the real-life Ava and her father Michael, this is a simple tale of familial support and teamwork, as well as parental love. Ava and her daddy share a close bond that many kids and their parents will relate to, and it’s wonderful to see them working together and supporting each other as they each tackle a new challenge. What truly sets this story apart is the way is breaks from traditional gender roles, not only showing a father passionate about traditionally “feminine” hobbies, but also one who is a confident caregiver, and one who is comfortable having flaws or making mistakes. It adds a wonderful layer of depth to Daddy and Ava’s story, and assures readers of all ages that the best way to be a father is to simply show earnest love. The artwork is fine; scenes revolving around the in-progress dress are standouts, but many other scenes are lacking in texture and depth and come off a little flat. Otherwise, the book’s length is great for storytime, and JJ liked it a lot. Overall, we would definitely recommend it, especially for dads and their little ones. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Am I Yours? (Alex Latimer)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Am I Yours? by Alex Latimer, an adorable dinosaur tale about family.

During a blustery day, a large blue speckled egg is blown out of its nest and rolls down a rocky hillside. Coming to a stop at the bottom, the egg – or rather, the baby dinosaur inside – begins to call out to others passing by, querying “Am I yours?”. Not being able to see the little one inside its egg, the dinos describe their features and ask if the baby shares them. Does he have sharp teeth like T-Rex? No. Spikes like the steggo? Nope. Long neck like Brachio? Nada. As the sun sets and the temperature grows colder, the egg’s occupant begins to panic. Yet the setting sun shines a light on the situation, and the helpful dinosaurs all band together to get the baby home.

Wonderful. This charming title combines a sweet story about kindness and family with a stellar early lesson in some of the most popular species of dinosaur and their distinctive features. The bouncy rhyming text flows wonderfully, and deftly utilizes repetition in a way that makes it a joy to read aloud (this would make a fantastic addition to any dinosaur storytime). The colorful, charming characters are a delight; even the egg manages to have presence and personality. Front and back endpapers even feature dozens of fully-illustrated and labeled dino species for further learning. JJ adored this one, and I did too. A winner that any little dino-lover (and their parents) can enjoy, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Tell Me A Tattoo Story (Alison McGhee)


Summer Reading Day 58: Today’s book was Tell Me A Tattoo Story by Alison McGhee, and if you are a parent or parents who have tattoos, consider picking this one up. This is one of the very few children’s books I’ve ever seen that normalizes tattoos, much less celebrates them.

In the story, a little boy asks his father to tell him the stories of each of his tattoos, even though he’s heard them many times before. His dad explains each tattoo and who or what it signifies: his parents, the day he met the boy’s mother, his military services, etc. I liked this in particular, as it is a great way to explain to children that tattoos often have special significance to the wearer. The length is just about perfect for a baby bookworm, but the illustrations by Eliza Wheeler are intricate and detailed enough to appeal to older kids as well. JJ liked it, so all in all, this one is definitely Baby Bookworm approved!

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Fox (Kate Banks)


Summer Reading Day 53: Today’s book was Fox by Kate Banks. As I’ve mentioned before, foxes are my favorite animal, so mommy was definitely excited about this book, and it didn’t really disappoint. It has a fox family, lovely descriptions of the passage of time over a year as a fox kit grows up, and the time-honored tale of learning how to fend for yourself (and your parents providing you with that knowledge). The art as sweet, with broad brush strokes featuring the colors of nature. But honestly, this was another book that left me tepid: no major complaints, but nothing that made me fall in love. Regardless, JJ liked it well enough, and it was a good length, so thumbs up.

No Matter What (Debi Gliori)


Summer Reading Day 42: Hello! Our book today was No Matter What by Debi Gliori. Those who know me know that I have a serious love of foxes (JJ’s nursery is fox/woodland themed), so I noticed this book awhile back when I was allowed to make a fox-themed children’s display at the library. Giving it a read, I knew I wanted to share it with JJ. A young fox, Small, asks their parent, Large (this is a nice touch – both foxes are genderless) if they would love them if they were grumpy, far away, a bug, etc. Of course, Large always answers that they would love their child “no matter what.”

It’s a sweet, short read with illustrations that are silly and lovely in turn. JJ loved it, so this one is a definite thumbs up!