Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me!

Non-Fiction - Self Help
33 Pages
Reviewed on 10/02/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Bruce Arrington for Readers' Favorite

Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me! by Michael A Brown is a 34-page-long children’s illustrated book about growing up, being cared for, and families. It also contains a graphic representation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The book is presented from a child’s point of view, but with the wisdom of an adult. The narrator explains that although he/she appreciates all the love, care, and help given while growing up, there is more to it than that. Parents tend to raise their own kids similar to how they have been brought up. In our crazed society of speed and efficiency, the notion of carefully teaching our children about everyday life is often thrown out the window. Too many demands sap parents of energy needed to go beyond day-to-day existence.

There are numerous examples presented for parents, but I will just focus on one: "Don’t just clothe me; teach me how/To dress my best for years from now." Here, the request is, don’t just dress me, but teach me the appropriate types of clothing for everything from walking on the beach to attending a wedding, or a funeral. As kids grow up, be involved more than just going shopping and laying clothes on their bed to wear. Explain to them why you chose the clothing you did and how they can learn to pick for themselves. That’s just one of numerous valuable examples for kids in Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me! by Michael A Brown, and they are all presented in colorful and detailed artwork that will make the reader want to read this book again and again. Highly recommended.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Like the powerful African proverb says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” After all, learning begins at home and in the community. Where a child is born, where there are parents and caregivers, this is where the most important learning originates. We learn by example, following those who love us: our parents, caregivers, and even siblings. There is so much to learn, but the most important thing is our self-esteem. If we feel good about ourselves, we can do anything. And there’s so much that we need to know how to do: how to work, how to play, how to use money wisely when shopping, how to clean up messes, and how “I can be great! I love me first!”

Michael Brown and Michelle Mathews’ picture book story, Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me! (What I Tell Myself), is a lovely way to introduce young readers to the simple fact that they are learning all the time and what their parents and caregivers teach them is as valuable as anything they will learn outside the home. Told in rhyming verse and with beautiful, colorful illustrations, this little book is a gem that speaks volumes about the importance of the family unit; life at home. But this book isn’t just for young readers; it’s also for their parents, grandparents, and caregivers, encouraging the learning process from simple tasks like how to choose the right clothes to wear or how to bake cookies to how we view ourselves, our self-esteem. Children have a strong thirst for learning and the sooner we lead them to their future through teaching, the more they will learn about themselves and how to care for themselves. Beautifully told and presented.

Jamie Michele

Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me! by Michael A Brown, with illustrations by Zoe Ranucci, is a picture book written for children and is the fourth book in the What I Tell Myself series. In this installment, Brown taps into a child's desire to learn and grow through the guidance of their parents. The story begins with a child asserting that their parents, having brought them into the world and nurtured them to an age where they are able to understand, now have a responsibility to teach them the everyday tasks that they will need in their future. These include cooking, cleaning, grooming, dressing, and financial matters, among other similar activities. Throughout the book, multiple children and families are depicted in alternating scenarios with a wide range of ethnic identities.

Michael A Brown covers quite a bit in Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me! and it took me a little longer to unpack than I've experienced with other children's books, which for the most part is a good thing. Any book that causes a reader to pause and absorb is a book worth reading, even if the message we walk away with is not wholly aligned with that of the author. First, let me start with Zoe Ranucci's illustrations because these are really the star of this book. The artwork is in full color and realistic detail, creating a fun feast for the eyes of both parent and child. I do like the message of the book even if the writing is slightly clumsy, but found some parts of its theme to be oversimplified with regard to the dynamics of a modern family. Initially, I thought that deep down this was actually written for parents. On further reflection, I was able to grasp the benefit this would be for the right family, especially ones in a situation where the child might be reluctant to learn in a day and age where kids are overly attached to electronic devices and television. In this context, I think this story would make a good addition to a well-rounded bookshelf.