This gently humorous look at the ways fathers are special is sure to appeal to the preschool set.
Smallman uses rhyming couplets to list the wonderful things dads do: “Some dads just love to snuggle and cuddle. / Some dads join in when you jump in a puddle!” As the sing-song text covers such activities as riding a bike, building sandcastles and holding hands, Julian’s painterly mix of mostly full-bleed double-page spreads and vignettes features a furry father bear and cub. The scenes where daddy bear toots in the water—with the resulting bubbles alarming the fish—and when the cub lets out “a big burp” will guarantee giggles. Yet on occasion dads may encounter some trouble: “Some dads get upset and start grumbling and stamping, / Just because they’re kind of hopeless at camping!” But all is well in the end as the narrator decides, “Nobody’s dad is like mine—and I’m glad. / When I’m big I want to be just like my dad!” The visuals allow young readers to enjoy spotting other animal father-child pairs, be they seagulls, snails, rabbits, crabs, porcupines or bats. A safe bet for storytimes, the large format also creates an instant intimacy that parents and children can curl up with.
Sweet but not saccharine, this title covers the usual territory in a simple tribute to dads. (Picture book. 2-5)