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

Monday, 26 November 2018

Review: Things My Pa Told Me

From him to me to you. The dedication of this exquisite book by Anthony Bertini is made to his father Andrea who told him things; to his children to whom he told things, and to their children who will be told things.

The child cannot fathom the worth of the words yet because he is too young. They will be recalled later when he can understand the meaning and value of the precious gems that fall from his father’s mouth.

From page to page, the father’s words of wisdom are sweet and true. They could be those of any parent to any child anywhere.

They are accompanied by stunning illustrations that reflect the situation being discussed between the two main characters. The illustrations speak their own language in colours and images that recall the child’s roots and his father’s identity.

The artwork fill the pages in double spreads, so the text seems small in its confined space, but it is huge in meaning. Small is all you know. Time will come soon enough to be big. The father is depicted carrying the child amongst a crowd of grown-ups, some whose bodies alone are shown, and up to the shoulders only. This speaks volumes.

This book for me is a journey into the past. A salute to precious memories and lessons learnt that stay with us a lifetime. It’s about recollections that sustain us after loved ones have moved on, and in turn we pass them onto our children and they to theirs, in order to keep the words and the person who spoke them, alive in our hearts.

This is one of those exceptional books that are returned to time and time again due to their outstanding significance.

Title: Things My Pa Told Me
Author: Anthony Bertini
Illustrator: Jonathan Bentley
Publisher: Hardie Grant, $ 24.99
Publication Date: August 2018
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781760501426
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book


  1. Hello and Happy New Year to you. Anthony Bertini here. The Author of "Things My Pa Told Me"

    i just wanted to say thank you for your most lovely review. I am so pleased you liked it. yes it is a all about folklore and what we pass down from generation to generation sometimes without even knowing. you may be interested to know that i was going to write three little stories - things my fathers father told him, things my father told me and things i told my kids. then i realised it is all one story. things might change or be added to however it is all basically the same set of stories. i think the same can be said for everyone one and every culture.

    thank you again for your support.

    All the best for 2019

    1. Our absolute pleasure, Anthony. I also reviewed this one independently and loved it. Very clever and touching. Thanks for popping by. Ed.


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