GOOD DAD DIEGO by Brenna Maloney


by ; photographed by
Age Range: 3 - 7
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Diego has “one of the toughest jobs in the world”: dad.

Diego is one photogenic pug, posed against white backgrounds with a few props while wearing hats signifying different jobs. In a photo of Diego in a police cap, a knocked-over plant and police-line tape on the verso, the text reads: “Sometimes, he has to be ‘The Law.’ / ‘Stop digging up the plants!’ / ‘No pooping on the floor!’ / ‘Don’t eat cat barf.’ ” Other jobs Diego fulfills include cook, nurse, and fix-it guy. But most of all, Diego wants to be a good dad, cleaning the dishes, doing the laundry, mopping, and acting as a role model. A large part of the humor in this book is the juxtaposition of the text with the photos of Diego’s wrinkly face. Diego sets an example by always wearing his winter hat in the cold: “I look like an elf.” Yes, a grumpy, rather chagrined one. While Diego lacks the sophistication of William Wegman’s Weimaraners, he perfectly embodies the feelings of dads everywhere as, after being “Dad”ed for the 12th time, Diego, front legs splayed and chin on the floor, responds, “That’s me.” Maloney and Kennedy miss an opportunity to show fatherhood in action, though: Diego never interacts with his pup, who’s only shown on one spread, albeit five times—or perhaps that’s five puppies, each shown once.

A look at the many hats fathers wear, best for dog lovers. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 9th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-451-48126-9
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2019


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