THE DAD WITH 10 CHILDREN by Bénédicte Guettier


From the "Big Picture Books" series
Age Range: 2 - 5
Email this review


A single dad blessed (or cursed—mileage may vary) with 10 very young children builds a boat and sails away.

The unnamed dad is capable beyond belief, preparing 10 breakfasts and then wrangling his wriggling issue into 10 shirts, 10 pairs of pants, 20 socks, and 20 shoes before dropping them off at school. He reverses his routine at night, closing the day with one story and 10 kisses—and then going to his workshop, where he is secretly building a boat. The tots are thrilled when it's finished but dismayed when Dad announces his intention of leaving them with Grandma while he sails solo "for at least 10 months." It only takes 10 days, though, before he gets lonely and returns to pack them all aboard for a family adventure. Guettier illustrates her daffy tale with bright blobs of gouache and thick, black lines. The dad and his kids are all Caucasian, the little ones mostly bald with little kewpie curls, and the illustrations take full advantage of the lack of individuation; they resemble a swarm more than children. The sheer looniness of the premise—the 10 children are all apparently the same age, and there's no hint of a mom—will beguile young and old, and parents will feel Dad's paternal pain and passion with wry amusement.

1 dad + 10 tykes = sublime silliness. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: May 5th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-909645-84-4
Page count: 42pp
Publisher: Scribblers/Sterling
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2015


ChildrenPECK, PECK, PECK by Lucy Cousins
by Lucy Cousins
ChildrenCHARLIE RIDES by Bob Bianchini
by Bob Bianchini
ChildrenFALL IN LINE, HOLDEN by Daniel W.  Vandever
by Daniel W. Vandever