A diverse cast of babies make a delightful mess at mealtime.
Mealtime can be messy.
When tiny tots are gaining independence and feeding themselves for the first time, food doesn’t always end up exactly where it is supposed to go. In a silly, rollicking rhyme, Day explores the many ways that highchair-time can go awry. The titular phrase says it all: “Applesauce is fun to wear / on your nose / or in your hair.” In Massey’s accompanying illustration, a bowl is upturned on a youngster’s head, spoon cast aside, applesauce dripping everywhere. Toast, spread thick with jam, proves to be an impossible urge to ignore: “Toast is always nice and flat. / What could make a better hat?” Plus, peas escape too easily; it’s not the toddler’s fault: “Roly-poly peas are fine / to squish / or fling / or put in line.” Oftentimes, eating can be more of a full-body experience than one limited to the sense of taste. Mashed bananas? Of course they turn into “gloppy gloves!” Massey provides a diverse cast of little ones in a pale palette, highlighting smears and smudges across tiny faces. They appear against a white background that is the opposite of clean, displaying little handprints and smears. The conclusion, which lands appropriately in the bath, is a bit slapdash, the playful rhyme having built momentum to what feels like an abrupt end. But the unbridled joy of messiness shines through. (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-18-inch double-page spreads viewed at 60.2% of actual size.)Dive into the spaghetti with gusto. (Picture book. 1-4)