'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 28 August 2010

Father's Day Picture Book Special - Part 1

This little bear idolises his Dad. After all, this is a father who plays games, goes exploring, spins his little bear around and tells night-time stories.

The little one says, “My dad is the best daddy bear there could be” and no one could argue with that. Doesn’t every child think that about their dad?

This is a beautiful story, written in lovely rhyme and demonstrating the special things about dads.

The highlight of this book, though, is the illustration.

One glance at these pictures will have you feeling all comfy and warm, wanting to give the bears a big cuddle. They are so animated and full of character that you feel they may just jump off the page and run around your lounge room, dancing and spinning into life.

This is a lovely story for dads to share with their little ones and a reminder of why fathers are so special.

- review by Megan Blandford

Title: Me and My Dad
Author: Alison Ritchie
Illustrator: Alison Edgson
Publisher: Koala Books, $14.99 RRP
Publication Date: August 2007
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780864617835
For ages: 2+
Type: Picture Book

The illustrations in Daddy's Lullaby (by the artist who also designed the UK covers for the first Harry Potter books) are truly gorgeous and really give this sweet story an emotive and dreamlike quality

The story is told in the first person by a Dad who comes home late from work to a silently sleeping household... well, sort of silent. A little tiny someone is awake so Dad takes baby in his arms and wanders the house, peeking in on big brother and on Mum, and finally settling, after walking the halls, into a living room armchair, where baby and Dad finally succumb to slumber.

A beautiful bedtime story, what I love about this book is the love and tenderness of the father - his lullaby will have you in tears, and the ending will make you smile through the watery blur.

- review by Tania McCartney

Title: Daddy's Lullaby

Author: Tony Bradman

Illustrator: Jason Cockcroft

Publisher: Allen and Unwin, $14.95 RRP

Publication Date: August 2008

Format: Board book

ISBN: 9780747592327

For ages: 2 - 6

Type: Picture Book, Board book

This daddy does all sorts of things, from reading stories, eating pickles from the jar, cooking barbeques and doing the dishes. On each page, these story asks a question of the reader, such as, “Can your daddy do that?” or “What’s your favourite game?” – a terrific way for children to feel involved in the story.

The illustrations are fun, bright and humorous and readers will love seeing all the things this funny dad gets up to.

- review by Megan Blandford

Title: My Daddy and Me
Author: Rachel Flynn
Illustrator: Craig Smith
Publisher: Puffin, $12.95 RRP
Publication Date: October 1998
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780140565119
For ages: 2+
Type: Picture Book

This is one of my absolute favourite picture books of all time, and my kids agree. I still burst out laughing each time I look at this kooky, adorable lion dad - running from bees (the face? priceless), scratching himself, climbing trees and... wait until you see him playing hide and seek. There's no way you could stop yourself from laughing out loud.

Dad and his too-cute lion cub son are peas in a pod. Narrated by the little lion, we learn there's many parallels between dad and son - some desirable, some not so desirable - and how all little lion's friends want to be just like his dad when they grow up.

Warm, heart felt and utterly hilarious - if you don't already own it, run to the book store. NOW!

- review by Tania McCartney

Title: Just Like My Dad
Author/Illustrator: David Melling
Publisher: Hachette Children, $16.99 RRP
Publication Date: July 2007
Format: Soft cover
ISBN: 9780340944035
For ages: 2 - 6
Type: Picture Book

This little girl is looking for her dad. She can see all sorts of other dads – those who are leaping, sleeping, mowing, rowing, splashing, crashing and more.

But where on earth can her dad be?

After searching all over, she finally spots him. And you’ll never guess where this adventurous dad is!

A rhyming story with a fun, lively pace, I Spy Dad is a book about all the different types of dads in the world. But not just any dad will do, it must be a special dad, the one just for you.

- this review by Megan Blandford 

Title: I Spy Dad
Author: Janeen Brian
Illustrator: Chantal Stewart
Publisher: New Frontier, $24.95 RRP
Publication Date: 2009
Format: Hard cover
ISBN: 9781921042171
For ages: 2 - 4
Type: Picture Book

I kind of stared in curiosity at this book when it arrived at my house. A book about a giant daddy in miniature? Why? It kind of didn't seem right. The I read the book, and it doesn't matter how small this book is, the story and the pictures will warm any and every heart.

Of course, when we are little, even the Monopoly board seems three miles wide - and Dads are like mountains in the sky - with their boulder-like shoulders (from which one can sit aloft, with head inside the clouds) and hands the size of dinner plates.

My Daddy is a Giant perfectly depicts this size phenomenon for little ones, with a giant of a daddy kicking footballs to the moon, sneezing like a hurricane and causing earthquakes when he runs. Imaginative and utterly gorgeous, the book has an undercurrent of sentiment that will delight adults and fascinate children.

Godon's stunning illustrations complete a perfect little pocket book that would make an ideal addition to Dad's breakfast tea tray.

- this review by Tania McCartney

Title: My Daddy is a Giant
Author: Carl Norac
Illustrator: Ingrid Godon
Publisher: Pan Macmillan, $9.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1 July 2008
Format: Hard cover, mini edition
ISBN: 9780230018167
For ages:
2 - 5 
Type: Picture book