My Dad is a Grizzly Bear, by Swapna Haddow/Illustrated by Dapo Adeola, (May 2022, Red Comet Press), $17.99, ISBN: 9781636550114
A little boy likens his father to a grizzly bear in this funny look at how we see our parents. Cartoony images show a giant grizzly bear chasing the boy and his sister; eating pancakes by the stack, and singing karaoke with the boy’s friends as the story progresses, in the boy’s voice: “He eats all the honey in the house. It drops off his pancakes and sticks to his whiskers. / He never leaves any for me because he is a grizzly bear”. The boy isn’t always put off by his dad, though – he and his sister giggle with glee as he chases them while the boy wields a water hose; as Dad “catches fish in his teeth” the boy is the one catapulting them from his fork. When the family goes camping and mom tells a scary story, Dad’s the one who saves the day with a big, warm bear hug. Kids will get a laugh as they think of people they know and what animals they could be: does someone hop around like a bunny? Or stretch like a cat? Or roar like a lion? A great book about dads and kids that we need more of: a fun-loving dad who’s there to rescue with a hug. Bright, colorful artwork, repetitive phrases, bold fonts, and a sweet story makes this a good storytime choice. Endpapers are a colorful splash of yellow pineapples on a pink background – just like Dad’s swim trunks on the cover. Download a free activity kit on Red Comet’s My Dad is a Grizzly Bear webpage.
Author Swapna Haddow is a popular, New Zealand-based author whose popular chapter book series include Dave the Pigeon and Ballet Bunnies. Visit her author webpage and join me in hoping more of her books appear on U.S. bookshelves. She’s also got loads of printable and fun activities. Dapo Adeola is a London-based illustrator and received the distinction of illustrator of the year at the 2022 British Book Awards. Follow him on Instagram for more of his artwork.