When my girls were small there was always a humorous competitive element between me and husband when reading bedtime stories. I would read ‘My Mum’ and he would read ‘My Dad’ both by Anthony Browne, these glorious celebrations of parenthood caused much hilarity as we both tried to outdo each other with our reading out loud abilities. I would sing like an angel (an angel whose foot had been stood on) and my husband would roar like a gorilla showing how big and strong he was, with lots of giggling from the girls as a result. This year there has been lots of lovely new picture books celebrating Dads and I’m delighted to share them with you, so if your looking for inspiration then take a look.
My Dad Used to Be So Cool – Keith Negley
Keith Negley reveals a well hidden secret about parents in ‘My Dad Used to Be So Cool’, that shock horror we all had these ‘other’ lives before children. When you see us sleep deprived or demented on the school playground juggling playdates, packed lunches and our children’s social diaries its hard to believe that this could be possibly true. Dad has a cool past although he’s far from cool now! He used to be in a rock band but now seems to be serious and caught up in the mundane of domestic life, how could this Dad have been fun? This wonderful celebration of the relationship between a boy and his Dad captures perfectly the love and joy they share. The illustrations are simply stunning, using a limited but striking colour palette, each page is a total feast for your eyes. A really special, unique book I simply loved it.
Do Not Wash This Bear – Sam Hay & Nick East
How do you find out if children will really like a book? Read it to over 60 children and you will soon find out, that’s just what I did with ‘Do Not Wash This Bear’ with our reception class children. This fantastically funny story about a father and son who are left on their own is guaranteed to have you in stitches. The label clearly says ‘Do Not Wash This Bear’ but Dad doesn’t listen and pops Bear in the washing machine not realising that a very different bear will emerge. As Bear wreaks havoc around the house, Dad is oblivious despite his son’s best efforts. Can this naughty bear be stopped? Sam’s brilliant storytelling is perfectly matched by Nick East’s lively and energetic illustrations. Bright and colourful his expressions are magnificent and made me chuckle, he captures the naughtiness of bear superbly. A warm and funny tale I really enjoyed sharing this story.
School For Dads – Adam and Charlotte Guillain & Ada Grey
‘School For Dads’ is a playful look at what would happen if children are put in charge to sort out their Dad’s errant ways. If Dad is too busy looking at his phone to play with you or is late picking you up then you have no choice but to send him to the School for Dads so he can learn just how he ought to behave. This story is a joy to read aloud, Adam and Charlotte create beautifully flowing rhymes that bounce along merrily as the story unfolds. Ada Grey’s illustrations are gorgeous and vibrant featuring a wonderfully diverse mix of characters which is really refreshing. Full of humour and warmth this book is a real celebration of fathers everywhere.
The Best Bit of Daddy’s Day – Claire Alexander
Claire Alexander’s has written a simply gorgeous story looking at the relationship between Bertie and his Daddy. When Bertie grows up he wants to be a builder just like his Daddy and drive trucks and diggers, so imagine his excitement when he arrives at school to find out they will be builders for the day. Bertie’s day doesn’t quite go to plan and when his Daddy picks him up he’s eager to confide in him the things that have gone wrong. But he is reassured when he finds out that even when you’re a grown up things don’t always work out and learns that they both looked for each other when they needed comfort. Claire’s illustrations provide a real emotional layer and charm to her stories, you can feel the bond and love shared by them. A truly lovely book which would be ideal to share a bedtime and help reassure a child who may feel anxious about being separated from a parent.
Thank you to Egmont and Flying Eye Books for sending me copies of this book to review.