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Michael Brown
Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me!
Teachers. Remember your favorite? Taught you what you didn't know. A void. They, with great enthusiasm educators know, taught to fill the void with knowledge. Repeated practice equals subject security and the confidence to tackle more. This is where Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me! comes in for those likely divested of great life lessons. Teach Me! guides adults, parents, grandparents, and caretakers to take an active approach in teaching children what parents may or should do daily. Teach Me! creates curiosity in children desirous to learn. What should we teach? What is left to learn? Everything. Teach them and perhaps yourself to secure their present showing them they belong with love by action. For themselves. For you. For your family. For their future, teach.
Criminal justice specialist Michael A. Brown (What I Tell Myself series) delivers an enthusiastic call to action for parents to view everyday things as learning opportunities for their children. The book is narrated from the perspective of a child—observant and future-conscious—who challenges parents to teach their children skills based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, from getting dressed and budgeting to building self-esteem.

The intended audience of this book is somewhat unclear. The simple rhymes suggest that the book is for children, but, unusually, the implied child narrator only addresses readers who are parents and seems to serve mostly as a vessel for parenting advice: “Work every day of the year?/ Don’t just work; teach me how!/ You make money for me somehow.” The book doesn’t have characters per se; the illustrations show a variety of families with children of different ages, and the narrator is not identified. The rhyming text is sometimes repetitive (for example, rhyming “me first” with “me first”) and occasionally vaguely ominous (“You gave me life. Now I am here/ For who knows how many years”).

Expressive digital illustrations by Zoe Ranucci breathe life into individual pages, depicting diverse parents and curious children engaged in everyday opportunities for growth together. The concept is unlikely to engage a child audience and therefore doesn’t quite mesh with its picture book format, but it boasts stimulating pictures and a sincere, well-intentioned message. This sweet picture-book poem encourages parents not just to care for their little ones, but to make the effort to impart practical abilities to them.

Takeaway: This sweet picture-book poem encourages parents to take time to teach their kids.

Great for fans of: Matt de la Peña’s Last Stop On Market Street, Judith Viorst’s Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: A
Editing: B
Marketing copy: B-

Feathered Quill

Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me! is the fourth book in author Michael A. Brown’s “What I Tell Myself” series. These books aim to teach children positive self-actualization by showing examples of real-life situations, and showing children how to handle each situation. In this book, the author shows both parents and children how important it is to use everyday situations and use each to advance the education of the child. While the book is a children’s book, it is also useful for parents who may be struggling with their parental responsibilities. The author drives home the point to teach your child now so that they will be equipped to handle what the future throws at them.

This is the second book in this series that I’ve read/reviewed and I enjoyed both very much. The positive message within its pages is one that parents can, and should, share with their children. Too often parents miss opportunities to advance their children’s education and this author shows them exactly how to take advantage of everyday activities to help their children become successful and happy members of society.

Quill says: Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me! is an excellent addition to the “What I Tell Myself” series. Both parents and children will benefit from the words of wisdom within its pages.

Self-Publishing Review

"A colorful, inspiring and heartwarming children’s book, Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me! by Michael A. Brown is a treasure trove of wisdom for young children. From their very first lessons in life to more abstract ideas of self-esteem and joy, parents provide critical support for a child’s view of the world. Exquisitely illustrated by Zoe Ranucci, this vivid storybook touches on some of the countless opportunities for learning and growth that parents can share as their children grow. The simple language makes this a great starter book for early readers, while the images make it a stimulating experience, regardless of one’s reading level. The final image of Maslowe’s hierarchy could be a great launch point for conversations about a child’s happiness, desires, and emotional management. A quick, beautiful, and impactful read." Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★★