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Daddies Do It Different Hardcover – April 17, 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Alan Lawrence Sitomer, illus. by Abby Carter. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4231-3315-5 A girl with flyaway curls describes her mother and father's different parenting styles. Breakfast with Mommy is civilized, but with Daddy, they make a fort from waffles. Carter's energetic drawings capture the fun-spirited bedlam that ensues when Daddy's in charge. Though Sitomer includes some gender stereotypes ("When Mommy gets her nails done, I sometimes get mine painted, too") and sets up a bit of a "fun dad, boring mom" dichotomy, it's clear that while mom and dad are different, they are equally beloved. Ages 3 7. PW"

Readers are in for a predictable, stereotypical comparison of how this particular mother and father differ in how they interact with their winsome daughter. The text follows a strict pattern, stating what Mommy typically does and following with how "daddies do it different," even though there is only one daddy/mommy pair depicted. Mommy is usually pleasant and proper and gets things done: "When Mommy feeds me breakfast . I sit nicely at the table, munch a piece of toast ." Daddy indulges in somewhat foolish behavior: "We make a fort with waffles, get syrup on the dog, and eat cereal straight out of the box!" (Mommies sharing this with their children will wonder who gets to wash the dog.) Carter ably paints the contrasting scenes in what appears to be watercolor. Most of these dichotomies make logical sense. Mommy teaches her daughter to make sauces while Daddy gives a lesson on how to juggle eggs and so on. But some are less successful: "When Mommy gets her nails done, I sometimes get mine painted, too. When Daddy watches Sunday sports, I sometimes see him cry." But on the last spreads mom and dad each tuck their daughter in, give her a kiss and tell her how much she is loved in "the exact same way." Unfortunately, this does not salvage the tale. Better choices abound, such as Marjorie Blain Parker and R.W. Alley's When Dads Don't Grow Up (2012) and Stephen Cook's Day Out with Daddy (2006). (Picture book. 3-6) Kirkus"

A young girl shares the daily activities of her family, contrasting the way mommies handle various chores to the way "daddies do it." When Mommy dresses her, the girl says, "My blouse is clean, my shoes have style, and my socks always match my shirt." With Daddy, "Stripes collide with plaids, my barrettes are crazy crooked, and sometimes my head pops through the shirtsleeve!" At bath time, Daddy, the dog, and the whole bathroom get just as wet as the girl, and Daddy encourages rambunctious play and tickling to the point of "crazy-hyper-nuts!" Finally, at bedtime, Mommy gently tucks the girl in, and Daddy does it "the exact same way." Children may enjoy reading about this dad's antics; others may find his behavior annoying. However, both the narrator and her mom relish the chaos. Lightly colored cartoon watercolors are a good match to the text. Two books with a similar feel are Jamie Lee Curtis' My Mommy Hung the Moon (2010) and Kate Banks' That's Papa's Way (2009). - Randall Enos Booklist"

K-Gr 2 In Sitomer's exploration of the differences between the ways in which mothers and fathers relate to their children and care for their needs, mothers are conscientious caregivers who dress their offspring in perfectly matching outfits, cook nutritious food, shop with a careful eye on family finances, and provide calming bedtime rituals. Fathers, on the other hand, build forts with breakfast waffles, put bananas in their ears in the supermarket, can't find the car keys, and engage in bedtime shenanigans guaranteed to make kids "crazy-hyper-nuts." Carter's large watercolor cartoon paintings reinforce the humorous text and vividly illustrate the differences between the two parents. Mom's breakfast table is neatly set with important food groups in evidence; Dad's has cereal spilling onto the floor, flowing milk and syrup, open drawers, and a cup perched precariously on the table edge. Mom provides bath-tub toys and careful teeth brushing; Dad covers the bathroom floor and himself in bubbles and water. While Sitomer is surely writing tongue-in-cheek, his stereotypical picture of mothers who are incapable of a bit of playful fun and fathers who are merely irresponsible clowns does a disservice to both parents. Stay with Laura Numeroff's What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best (S & S, 1998), which provides a more balanced view of parents and their little ones. Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT SLJ"

About the Author

Alan Lawrence Sitomer is a nationally renowned speaker and was California's Teacher of the Year in 2007. He is also the author of multiple works for young readers, including Nerd Girls, the Hoopster trilogy, The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez, Cinder-Smella, and The Alan Sitomer BookJam. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.


Abby Carter has illustrated many books for children, including My Hippie Grandmother by Reeve Lindbergh, The Best Seat in Second Grade by Katharine Kenah, and the Andy Shane chapter book series by Jennifer Richard Jacobson. Abby lives with her husband and two children in Connecticut.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (April 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423133153
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423133155
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #576,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
How dare you Mr. Sitomer expose our genetic thinking. Can you blame us? We're men. Yes, I now admit to serving ice cream for breakfast to my three children when their beautiful mother was gone one Sunday morning. Yes, I now admit that I let the children go swimming one summer after eating a large meal, but only after their mother left the beach. And yes, I now admit that the kids and I tore the living room apart while building a fort. Of course, we used the precious pillows. Yes, we spilled something on them. But what were we suppose to use? She never figured out what really happened... until now. Do my children love this book, of course. Does their mother believe everything in it? I hope not. This is a great read that's fun for everyone... especially the kids.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this for my husband, and he and i (as well as my 5 year old daughter) love this book. Yes, this book portrays daddys a certain way - but this is targeted for only a specific type of father. These types of fathers DO exist, I am married to one of them. My husband is a fantastic father. He helps my daughter get ready and take a shower every morning and gets her ready for school, he helps cook dinner, he plays with kids....but he does it differently from me. And we laugh at this book b/c it is so similar to our life and roles. So if you are not this type of dad - who makes breakfast differently, who dresses kids differently, who makes going to the grocery store a fun and silly experience, etc - then don't buy it! I for one am thankful for this book....b/c before, it was always - "no mommy do it, no mommy change me, no mommy brush my hair" etc. Now my daughter can start appreciating that daddy can do something too, even if it's differently than me.
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Format: Hardcover
Daddies do it Different is a fun, delightful story about the things Moms and Dads do different. Told through the eyes of a young girl, this story got plenty of laughs from my kids and I as we read about some of the things this little girl's parent's do. From the way breakfast is prepared, to bath time, play time and bed time, I liked how Alan was able to show the differences in the way parents do things, and how this story illustrated those differences. I loved that this story embraced the differences in how parents do things, and how much fun that can be for their kids. Not everything in this story rang true in our home, but it's over all message did. To be honest, this story definitely reminded me of the things my parents did differently and some of the differences my kids experience now. I love that like the little girl in this story, my kids get to enjoy the differences of how my husband and I do things.

I will say there are times when I am the one who does things in a more fun way than my husband, or there's times he does things in a sillier way than me. That's okay, I love that we can balance out the way we parent and raise our children. I got why he showed the mom in the manner he did, because I sometimes find myself in that position, and I have to remind myself to step back and just play and have fun. I also appreciated the comical side to parenting that Alan included in his story. Being a parent is serious, and it's a huge responsibility, but with it also comes those fun moments when you can act silly and enjoy making memories with your kids. I felt some of Alan's message from his book was just that. The end of the story ends on a note that rings true about one of the things that Moms and Dads do the same.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for Father's Day for my hubs and he really liked it. We have a boy and its all about a girl, but that didn't really matter. Our son is still too young to enjoy it with him, but I got it for my husband specifically because he often feels that his slap dash approach to parenting is lesser than mine. I disagree with other reviewers and think that this celebrates fathers, not diminishes them in any way. The dad portrayed in the book is fun, whimsical, and loves his baby, he just doesn't do things as stiffly and precisely as "mommy", but is not shown as a lesser parent in any way. I only wish it were a little longer or that it did some boy stuff, too, so minus one star.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ok, so as a dad, I can appreciate the sentiments expressed in terms of gender stereotyping. And yes, the dad in this book does act in an over the top manner most of the time - certainly not how I show up as a dad. But as a writer myself, I can also appreciate the plot line in terms of building contrast so that the punch line at the end can be delivered. In this case, the author chose to poke some gentle fun along gender lines - it doesn't feel insensitive and I don't believe the target audience really cares all that much about it's alleged lack of political correctness.

If you are unclear whether this book will work for your family, do what we did - get if from the library first. We actually not only enjoyed the book, but found it very useful in engaging our daughter in conversations about the limitations of assigning personality traits to different genders, how mommies and daddies are people first and their "roles" second, etc.

If you can get past all of the above, it is actually a pretty fun book with a sweet ending.
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