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PICTURE BOOK CAROUSEL: Father’s Day picks

Posted on Jun 8, 2015

superherodadSuperhero Dad
Timothy Knapman (text) & Joe Berger (illustrations)
(Nosy Crow)

Special relationships between dads and sons is celebrated in this beautifully designed picture book. What is particularly heartwarming about this title is that the Dad is just an ‘ordinary’ dad, but is there really such a thing, in a child’s eye? No, of course, which is why, thanks to the first person narrative, we see him as the boy sees  him and feels about him, superhero attributes and all, even if they include Super Snoring! Joe Berger’s fabulous pop-art/comic style artwork manages to show the dad both as the hero in his boy’s eyes and the more ‘human’ and clumsy reality of his endeavours, bringing a strong message to dads also that you don’t have to be all muscles an perfection  to be your child’s superhero. Fun, zany and touching, this will be a hit for boys and dads to share.

 

daduniverseWhen Dad Showed Me the Universe
Ulf Stark (text) & Eva Eriksson (illustrations)
När pappa visade mig värdsalltet, translated from Swedish by Julia Marshall
(Gecko Press)

As parents, we are often left disappointed, maybe a bit frustrated, when we want to share something with our offspring and they turn out not to be particularly interested, or maybe too young to understand. A special place, a special book, a special smell – we crave for them to feel the same way as we do (or did at their age). This gorgeous longer picturebook deals with this very subject; the Dad in this story thinks his son is ready to be shown something very special: the universe. But things don’t turn out as ‘perfectly’ as the father would have hoped; but does this matter? Can memorable moments and loved memories be orchestrated, in the end?
This is an exquisitely illustrated book, full of soft palettes and pencil strokes which is teamed perfectly with a text that might sound serious at first, but is indeed full of humour, as the wonderful ending shows. A really special book indeed.

 

 

myamazingdadMy Amazing Dad
Ross Collins
(Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)

All of Snip’s friends seem to know what their daddies do in the wilderness all day, and it is all really cool stuff too!  The little crocodile, however, is not so sure what it is his daddy does. When his mum finally shows him, Snip is amazed: his dad teaches all the other dads all those cool things!  Ross Collins’ artwork is energetic and fun, yet full of of warmth. With lots of animals to spot, this is a great book to share with toddlers and will be a definitely a hit with any daddies that are teachers too!

 

 

 

daddyssandwichDaddy’s Sandwich
Pip Jones (text) & Laura Hughes (illustrations)
(Faber & Faber)

Many of the picturebooks published with Father’s Day in mind tend to focus on father-son relationships, and this one, thankfully, breaks the mould with a story of a little girl on a quest to make the perfect sandwich for her father. This creates some rather interesting and hilarious combinations but what is the missing ingredient, if the sandwich is to include of her daddy’s favourite things? Our unconditional love for our children is often tested to its limits, and the dad being presented with the sandwich is definitely one of those moments.   A  lovely book to share and giggle over (though it might cure you of eating sandwiches for a while …)

 

stellaStella Brings the Family
Miriam B. Schiffer (text) & Holly Clifton-Brown (illustrations)
(Chronicle Books)

Though not technically about Father’s Day but rather Mother’s Day, this book gives an interesting insight as what such “special days” might mean for children who have two mummies or two daddies, and how difficult school celebrations can be to navigate for them, which is what Stella who has two daddies, faces when her class are invited to bring their mothers to her school’s Mother’s Day celebration. Without breaking any new boundaries in the still very sparse sub-genre of books that portray families with gay parents, it provides an interesting alternative to more traditional Father’s Days books.

 

You can buy copies of these books here.

 

Books sent from review from publisher (apart from Daddy’s Sandwich)

 

 

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