Lynn: Kids love books where they know more than the central characters. It is a joke that never seems to grow old for them. A new entry into this category is the delightful Sprout Helps Out (Penguin/Dial) On the first page we peek inside a house with an artist Mom contemplating a blank canvas in her studio. Then we meet Sprout, an adorable little girl who looks to be about 3 or 4 with flyaway hair and a band-aide on her knee.
Sprout is small.
But she is a BIG help.
And she knows it.
Sprout confidently tackles all sorts of household tasks but of course disaster follows in her wake. She makes the bed – with her mother still in it, she walks the fish, she brushes her teeth – and the dog’s with her mother’s toothbrush. And that is just the start of the day!
Winstead’s soft illustrations are filled with hilarious small details on every page that reward taking time with each page. Young readers will enjoy spotting each catastrophe as it unfolds while still understanding that Sprout has the best of intentions. This is an affectionate but oh-so experienced look at life with a helpful preschooler. Giggles will reign! I can’t wait to share this Henry – our own helpful wreaker of havoc.
Cindy: Winstead must have been watching my household when my daughters were small. Nah, more likely, Sprout’s eager and earnest efforts to help are universal and this picture book will appeal to the masses. I’m not sure who fares worse throughout the story…the helpless fish, the tormented cat, the playful pup, the patient baby, or the distracted mother. The readers, though, will be very lucky to have Sprout in their lives.