Tom and Pippo's Day is one of several books in the Tom and Pippo series by Helen Oxenbury. It's the only book my husband Ben and I read to our daughter Ashley Lauren every night. We've been doing the bedtime ritual since she was about two months old. So, I guess we've read it about 365 times.
It's a board book that's only a few cardboard pages long, but amazingly it doesn't get old. I can recite it by heart, of course. It's about the daily rituals that a kid named Tom (who wears Mary Jane's, by the way) goes through with his stuffed monkey Pippo. They give each other a hug in the morning; they go to see if Mommy and Daddy are awake; they eat breakfast together; play together; and wait for Daddy to come home.
Then, Tom looks fervently for Pippo since he accidently tosses him aside during the course of the day. But alas, (Ebert's spoiler alert) Tom is reunited with Pippo and he can finally go to bed. "Because when it's time to go to sleep, Tom needs to be with Pippo".
It's a fun and colorful book that's chock full of faux pas. The kids don't really understand it, but it's good fun for the parents. First, Tom likes to blame his mistakes on his furry friend. He spills a drink during breakfast and says Pippo did it. Then, when he can't find Pippo, he starts looking for him under the kitchen sink along with all the dangerous household chemicals. Finally, he gets desperate and searches for him in a box full of toys which includes a tennis racket with broken wiry strings. So, even though this review may sound like I'm panning the book, I'm actually recommending it. I'm recommending it despite Tom's gauche fashion sense, his victim complex, and all the safety blunders his home contains. Because that's what life is. Not perfect, not always safe, but in the end... beautiful, just like Tom in his red Mary Jane's.