Day Care Days
by Mary Brigid Barrett
illustrated Patty Beling Murphy
© 1999 Little, Brown & Company
A little boy recounts the events of his family's busy day, from waking up, getting dressed and off to day care, until his Daddy picks him and his baby brother up and brings them home.
Barrett presents a whirlwind tour of the ups and downs of a young boy's day. The scope of the book is broader than just day care; it begins with the family's waking, the morning ablutions, the car ride to day care, and, back at home, dinner, and bedtime. The pace of the rhyming text is a bit hurried, yet busy families will relate to the all-too-familiar activities. "Quick, go potty!/Daddy shaves./Mommy, in the shower, waves./Sister, SWISH-SWISH, brushes teeth./Baby's diaper starts to leak!" The illustrations, done in gouache on watercolor paper, while attractive, reinforce the sense of busyness-wallpaper, clothes, and rags are splashed with loud patterns and bright colors, creating a larger sense of disorder. There are even a few moments of sadness-a tear shed when Dad says good-bye and the loneliness felt by the protagonist and his baby brother when they are the last to be picked up at the end of the day. These incidents are, however, countered by moments of quiet tenderness. Overall, an upbeat and positive slice of life.School Library Journal; © 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Day Care Days won an Oppenheim Gold Award, given to outstanding new books that enhance children’s lives, as well as being named one of the best books of 1999 by Working Mother’s Magazine.