Recommended for ages 2-6
The book, a love letter to dads, shows a young squirrel counting down the hours until his father gets home from work. As he works on a craft project to have ready for his father’s arrival, he thinks of all the things his dad does with him: he wakes him up in the morning, packs his lunch and brings him to school, and watches his swimming lessons. When Dad comes home, his son presents him with a blue ribbon, for being a Number 1 Dad. The story, told in rhyme, will appeal to young readers and audiences. The illustrations are made with black pen and watercolors on cold press paper and provide soft images with enough definition that the characters stand out against their backgrounds. The faces on the family members are gentle and expressive. The endpapers feature all of the craft supplies used to make the blue ribbon plus the clock, an important part of the story as the squirrel son counts each hour down until his father comes home. The book comes with a detachable blue ribbon that should probably be removed before putting circulating, rather than invite theft and damage to the book.
This would be a good addition to a Father’s Day read-aloud. The blue ribbon is an easily made storytime craft. The Perry Public Library has a Daddy storytime theme that includes songs and rhymes that would enhance any read-aloud.
Recommended for ages 2-4
A little boy asks his father what he will be when he grows up, and looks at the world around him for ideas. A raindrop tells him he could be “like me” and become the fastest river; a green sprout, the tallest tree; a caterpillar, the most colorful butterfly in the meadow. As the boy paints the images he sees around him, he ultimately makes his own decision: he will be like his dad. The artwork is a simple and soothing series of acrylics and mixed media, with a single die-cut image in each spread acting as a transition to the next spread. The die cuts may not hold up to repeated use and risk tearing, but the pages are thicker than usual and may last longer than expected with gentler use. Books that illustrate relationships between fathers and sons are not as common as mothers and sons or mothers and daughters, making this a good book to offer the community.
This would be a great addition to a family read-aloud or a Father’s Day read-aloud, as it features a positive relationship between a father and son. There are great Father’s Day crafts that are easily made available, including Father’s Day picture frames using heavy paper, glue and scissors available on Enchanted Learning’s website. Children can bring pictures from home or can use pictures from old magazines. The author does not have a website, but his publisher has an author page with a biography and the ability to become a “fan”.