I have been recently pondering how much offspring model their behavior on their parents. Perhaps it is because our girls are at the age where I hear phrases come out of their mouths that I can hear in my own voice, and I marvel when they ask for help completing a task and then do it themselves before I even have time to respond. Toni Buzzeo captures this in the animal world in, Just Like My Papa, where lion cub Kito watches his father as he hunts and tries to follow in his footsteps. The story reaches a sweet ending when Kito is becoming ready to hunt on his own, making his first big catch – a fly. This is a nice companion to Buzzeo’s earlier, Just Like My Mama. He makes great use of evocative sounds and call and response dialogue between Kito and his father as they echo each other’s thoughts, each at his own level. Mike Wohnoutka’s bold, expressive illustrations spread across the pages, enhancing the disparity in size between big papa and little Kito. Buzzeo’s depiction of animal relationships, both with mama and with papa, enlightens his reader’s understanding of the same emotions between parent and child.
Suggested Ages – This story is perfect for listeners as young as pre-K who will love the illustrations, simple words, and repetition in the text. They can connect with the content as they imagine being little Kito.