A gently surreal tale of a boy who must sift through throngs of abandoned fathers while on the hunt for his own.
The worst feeling? You’re sitting at the breakfast table coloring and you realize you’ve misplaced your dad. In this tale, a boy’s search takes him to the Bureau of Misplaced Dads. The director informs the kid that “at least 20 or 30 dads wander in every day,” including striped-sweater dads, weeping dads, and even a couple that have been released back into the wild (this “wild” is just outside the bureau’s back door). When offered an array of adoptable dads, the boy is tempted. Fortunately, now he is able to remember where his own father may be. The word “misplaced” sets the right tone, clarifying early on that the boy will certainly find the right papa. The whimsically deadpan art keeps the tale upbeat, contrasting the wide array of hopeful, physically dissimilar dads against one another. Sadly, the book is not without the occasional creepy moment, like the leering dad lurking in a cardboard box with a knife and fork in hand. Still, it’s hard not to be charmed by the dads on display, including a “dad who always looks like he’s just gotten out of bed” and a “dad from Strasbourg, wearing his daughter’s bonnet,” among others.
Readers may leave this book wishing their own parental units might be “misplaced,” if only so that they can visit this bureau. (Picture book. 3-6)