What Mommies Do Best / What Daddies Do Best – good times with Moms and Dads

mommies_do_best_lgwhat+daddiesCelebrate all the things parents do.


Bibliographic Info:  Numeroff, Laura (author), Munsinger, Lynn (illustratator) What Daddies Do Best / What Mommies Do Best (2006) Simon & Schuster Formats: Hardcover ISBN: 978-068- 980577-6, Paperback  Interest Level: K-2  Grade/ Reading Level Equivalent: 1.3  Genre: Read Aloud  Themes: Dads, Moms, Love


Summary:  Page by page, What Mommies Do Best celebrates the fun things Moms do with their kids. Flip it over and celebrate the fun things Dads do with their kids in What Daddies Do Best.

Review:  If you haven’t seen this special little novelty book, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.  It’s two books in one!  The story is a joyful ode to the fun things that kids can do with their mommies and their daddies (and by the way, those things are identical in both parts).  This book is a bit small for a group storytime, but the illustrations are big, bright and easy to understand.


Storytime:  What Daddies Do Best / What Mommies Do Best is a noteworthy bedtime story that can also be used in groups when celebrating parents. This picture book has a lot going for it.  First and foremost, it’s a concept book.  One cover is about mommies and the other is about daddies.  This is good book for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day themes.  The flexibility of this book makes it child-centered.  No matter the number of parents a child has (or the genders of a child’s parents), all kids are included. Just flip it over and tell it the appropriate way. Bright colors feature delightful animals to illustrate the good times.  This book will work well for one-on-one storytime and it can be adapted to work in groups.

Storytime Tips:

  • Read both parts.  Not only are the things Mommies and Daddies do identical, it’s fun to see how the illustrator interprets the fun.
  • For groups, set it up as a call and response and make the book an interactive experience.  When you turn each page, have your listeners help you tell the story by asking them to say “Daddies” or “Mommies” as the case may be.
  • Have kids guess what’s happening in the illustrations to involve them in the book.  Praise imaginative ideas.
  • If you are a parent reading one-on-one with your child, ask your child to name some things that Mommies and Daddies do that are not in the book.  Bring your calendar or “to do” list and make a date to do something fun together.

Bibliotherapeutic Note:  When working with groups of kids it’s important to be inclusive of listeners with diverse families.  Books that celebrate mothers or fathers exclusively may not be the best choice for a group storytime. 


Early Childhood Education and Development:  The following lists stand-out benefits of What Daddies Do Best / What Mommies Do Best across various early childhood education (ECE) and child development checklists:

1. What Daddies Do Best / What Mommies Do Best provides young children with the opportunity to use their SIx Pre-Reading Skills and begin to read on their own. Here are these six skills:

  • Knowing how to handle a book/eBook/app (print awareness)
  • Being interested in and enjoying books (print motivation)
  • Being able to describe things and events, being able to tell stories (narrative skills)

2. What Daddies Do Best / What Mommies Do Best provides parents with opportunities to utilize the following Early Literacy-Building Parent Practices (see full list of parent practices here):

  • Talking with kids and telling them stories helps them learn to express themselves and conversations.
  • Reading together is “the single most effective way to help children become proficient readers” (Every Child Ready to Read).
  • Playing is a primary way in which children learn language (and this book is very playful).

3. What Daddies Do Best / What Mommies Do Best cultivates the following Kindergarten Readiness skills (see full checklist here).  Children well-prepared for kindergarten are able to:

  • Speak understandably
  • Talk in complete sentences of five to six words
  • Look at pictures and then tell stories

4. What Daddies Do Best / What Mommies Do Best supports the following Common Core Guidelines (see full list here):

  • Increase focus on children’s comprehension through dialogic reading. Ask questions before, during and after telling stories.
  • Create a more participatory culture in group programs and classroom settings.  Use materials that invite participation and keep learners engaged.

5. What Daddies Do Best / What Mommies Do Best supports young children’s “emerging mental abilities” by providing opportunities for “key experiences” that strengthen or broaden these abilities (see full list here):

  • Using Language (naming and expressing feelings, describing events, objects and relations verbally)
  • Representing (relating pictures to real places and things)

Significance:   Laura Numeroff is an award winning children’s book author and illustrator who is best known as the author of If You Give a Mouse a CookieLaura Bush invited her to the White House to be honored for the If You Give.. Series.  Her What People Do Best series also includes Grandmas/Grandpas and Aunts/Uncles.  Lynn Munsinger is a children’s book artist who has illustrated many favorites, including the What People Do Best series and The Teeny Tiny Ghost by Kay Winters.

Read-alikes:  If You Give a Mouse a Cookie   What People Do Best (series)Grandmas/Grandpas and Aunts/Uncles, The Teeny Tiny Ghost

Links:  author’s website  Scholastic  Amazon  

Other Reviews:  Goodreads

I chose to review this title after I was asked to recommend read alouds for classrooms to celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

3Make Reading More Fun


Written by Tom Schween, founder of storytimeWOW!