A toddler and her dad take a walk in the woods, where there is much to behold and to hold.
A “sparkling stone,” a “spiny spiral pine cone,” and a “bumpy brittle brown twig”: each find summons the titular imperative from Mika to her father. He reminds her that she’s a big girl and can hold her treasures herself. A stumble causes her to lose them, but with a kiss from dad, she’s ebulliently looking around again. Here, swirling display type accentuates her renewed enthusiasm as she lights upon leaves, a stream, and a frog, all gathered (the stream in a cupped leaf), all lost again. Mud and a mushroom are next. (Either dad is a mycologist and recognizes it as harmless, or he is secure in the knowledge she won’t eat it, for no parental warning issues forth.) A rotten log is an immediate fail, but Mika has distracted herself (rather abruptly) with a fairy house. On the way home, a final “Hold this!” finds hands joined in companionship. Alpaugh illustrates Scoppettone’s brief, onomatopoeic text with bright watercolors. Mika has East Asian features, while her father is a blond Caucasian. Their relative sizes may give some readers pause—very young Mika seems at times quite big—but this serves to visually unite them. Small animals play fancifully in the background; at one point, mice float by on inner tubes.
A sweet celebration of sharing in the outdoors. (Picture book. 2-5)
Read whole article here. Originally posted on October 6, 2015.