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MY DADDY AND ME by Jerry Spinelli


by Jerry Spinelli & illustrated by Seymour Chwast

Age Range: 5 - 7

Pub Date: April 8th, 2003
ISBN: 0-375-80606-7
Publisher: Knopf

Renowned novelist Spinelli (Loser, 2002, etc.) offers a healthy dose of hero worship in his picture-book debut. From the moment he comes home from work, briefcase in hand, this Dad is ready to spend quality time with the young narrator, whether it means jumping into the parked car together for a pretend trip to Kalamazoo, playing hide and seek, wrestling on the floor, or making gingerbread men in the kitchen. Cook, barber, gardener, clown, mentor, and cheerleader; in his child’s eyes, Dad does it all—and, to judge from Chwast’s (Harry, I Need You!, not reviewed, etc.) simple, thickly brushed, all-canine domestic scenes, is a single parent to boot. Despite occasional narrative jumps that the pictures don’t bridge—“When we go for a walk, we don’t just walk—we do fancy dance steps. You’d think my dad had twenty kids!”—the intensity and directness of feeling will strike a chord in young readers or pre-readers who feel the same about their own fathers, or who are put off by the ambiguity in Douglas Wood’s What Dads Can’t Do (2000). (Picture book. 5-7)