Search Results

Keyword: ‘our dad’

Our Dad by David Ling, Illus. Nicky Sievert

July 26, 2018 Comments off

our dadOur Dad by David Ling, Illus. Nicky Sievert. Pub. Duck Creek Press, 2018.

I do love a picture book for juniors about dads because it is a chance to see how I match up, now that I am a granddad too.

The dad in the book is as close to perfect as you can get, in my eyes. He loves his kids but he works from

home while mom works. Ok so he doesn’t get some things right.

He is forgetful when running a bath, he sometimes leaves the washing out and doesn’t cut the lawns. He is a hopeless do it yourself man, and he gets lost when on holiday.

But when the kids need him he is there and he is a good listener. Just about perfect. Read it and see what else he gets up to.

Good for getting kids to talk about themselves and their dads and moms.

Nicky Sievert’s illustrations are just about perfect too. My favourite illustration is the kids faces when they see what dad has cooked for tea. Priceless!! Are you sure my wife did not slip you the plot??

Categories: Picture book Tags: ,

A Robot’s Journey to Find a Heart. by Dave & Jessie Gerber

January 7, 2020 Comments off

robot heartA Robot’s Journey to Find a Heart. by Dave & Jessie Gerber. Pub. Adelaide books New York, 2019.

Jessie and her daddy are very lucky. They love doing things together and Robot puts it all down to heart.

Robot is told he hasn’t got a heart and can’t have one but he wants what Jessie and her daddy have so he looks for reasons why. Will he learn about a heart from books?or playing sports or helping others or going to school?

See how Robot gets on. One thing is for sure-he may not have a heart but he can learn to love.

Simple text, simple illustrations, big message.

When Dad Came Home by Vanessa Hately-Owen, illus. Rosie Colligan.

October 25, 2018 Comments off

dad came homeWhen Dad Came Home by Vanessa Hately-Owen, illus. Rosie Colligan. Pub. Oratia Books, 2018.


When the guns fell silent in World war 1 for many the war didn’t end. The noise, the trauma and the inhumanity of war stayed with them in their heads.

Rita and Thomas wait eagerly for their dad to come home. They are apprehensive as they see other dads come home with wounds and scars. They wonder what their dad will be like. Will he laugh and joke and carry them for piggy back rides?

They soon find out. Their dad is shell shocked. Noise upsets him. Rather than tiptoe round him they sing their favourite song when working with him or in his presence. It works and dad is soon recovering.

A heart warming story brilliantly illustrated by Rosie Colligan. She captures the faces of hope, of despair, of pain, of sadness and eventually of joy.

A beautiful story for everyone.

Bad Dad by David Walliams. Illus. Tony Ross

December 2, 2017 Comments off

bad dadBad Dad by David Walliams. Illus. Tony Ross. Pub. HarperCollins, 2017.

You don’t need to advertise these novels kids all know about them as soon as they are out.

The usual smattering of silliness which you wish was true, with goodies taking on baddies and winning. This time we have a bad dad who isn’t bad, a vicar without a congregation, a mini called Queenie, an aunt who can’t write poetry and three villains-Mr Big, Fingers and Thumbs who are just classic and right out of a Jimmy Cagney movie.

The down trodden are 11 year old Frank and his stockcar driving father Gilbert who losses a leg, a wife and his self respect but not the love of his son.

The minor characters are a treat especially the local copper Sergeant Scoff and perennial newsagent and all round good guy if a little mingy, Raj.

Great for anyone with a silly sense of humour and especially for reluctant readers. As usual Tony Ross’s illustrations are superb.

I loved it. But wait there’s more. We have a gay relationship to ponder and it will make you happy.

Grandad’s Wheelies by Jack Lasenby, illus. Bob Kerr

August 2, 2016 Comments off

wheeliesGrandad’s Wheelies by Jack Lasenby, illus. Bob Kerr. Pub. Puffin, 2016.

Any children who have grandparents as imaginative and daring as Jack’s grandparents would be very lucky indeed. Jack’s grandparents can spin off a yarn and shaggy dog story at the expense of each other like dropping a hat.

This novel for primary and intermediate aged children is a collection of 30 over the top stories from New Zealand’s master of the tall story Jack Lasenby. Some of the stories have a legendary feel about them others cast light on a bygone age and others are just straight shaggy dog. All however are very funny and ingenious.

What’s more they give life to old people and their relationships with their grandchildren, one of the closest and dearest family relationships. Jack Lasenby is not going to let the wisdom and humorous experiences of granddad and granny be forgotten and grandson Jack is the winner. So is everyone who reads this book.

I liked all the stories but my favourite was Chapter 10 How we call things by Different Names. If you have ever yelled at the News or cringed at Aunt Daisy you will understand why.

As ever Bob Kerr supplies telling illustrations that enhance the fun of this book.

When Dad Showed me the Universe by Ulf Stark, illus Eva Eriksson.

April 1, 2015 Comments off

dad universeWhen Dad Showed me the Universe by Ulf Stark, illus Eva Eriksson. Pub. Gecko Press, 2015.

There is something about standing in dog poo that is a great leveler. On this particular night a father takes his son out to show him the universe. Its a big place and the boy, who narrates the story is anxious to see it.

Father and son dress warmly and holding hands they set off through the town, past the empty toddler pool, over a ditch of water into a dark field where people let their dogs loose.

The boy is fascinated… how big is the universe? Are we there yet?

When the boy looks up he sees the immensity of the stars in the Universe and dad is wonderous too. But then that false step into misery.

Superb story from Ulf Stark who is famous in Sweden for his off beat sense of humour.

Eva Eriksson has much to do with her illustrations and she does it superbly with simple yet amazingly detailed illustrations  in water colours and crayon. She captures the wonder and excitement on the faces of father and son, life in the town, the fish and crabs in the shop window, the snail on the rock in the field and ultimately the whole night sky.

Then that fatal sticky step and the glum face. Excellent read-a-loud for juniors.

The Day Dad Blew Up the Cowshed by Jennifer Somervell Illus. Margery Fern.

February 27, 2014 Comments off

dad cowshedThe Day Dad Blew Up the Cowshed by Jennifer Somervell Illus. Margery Fern. Pu. Tales from the Farm Publications, 2012.

This picture book plus the one below have been circulating particularly in country areas for a while now, but I have just heard about them, and it is about time city folk got to know them.

Blowing the old cowshed up is not an easy task. It requires skill and some preparation. Gelignite held down by bags of water then BOOM! Who didn’t know though? And where did it all go after the big bang.

It’s the sort of story that goes into country folk lore and Jennifer Somervell has told it well with rhyming verse that demands to be read aloud. City folk don’t traipse up a hillside or cluster round the cowshed. Perhaps we should it looks fun.

It is a read-a-loud story for juniors and senior primary for that matter.

Sister Margery Fern has illustrated the text with  unique Water colour illustrations. Down on the farm style which captures life on the farm in New Zealand. I liked the cows and the dogs and the women chatting about it later.  They compliment the text well.

In the back is a glossary and pictures of the real farm and milking merry-go-round.

The New Old Truck by Jennifer Somervell. Illus. Margery Fern. Tales from the Farm Publications, 2014.

old truckThe old 1921 Republic truck has had it’s day as a working truck but the children are fond of it and don’t want it to go. The truck didn’t want to go either but the truth has to be faced. Down they go to see new trucks but farm folk don’t like anything flashy so they stick with the blue truck.

Then salvation. Son John comes home and decides to restore the truck back to its old glory. Everyone’s happy even the old truck.

Once again uniquely illustrated in water colour paintings and I loved the girls lounging on the hay bales in the back of the old truck and of course the almost human old truck with those doleful eyes.

Both books would be a choice asset to any school library.

Categories: Picture book Tags:

Slog’s Dad by David Almond, Illustrated by Dave McKean

October 12, 2010 Leave a comment

Slog’s Dad by David Almond, Illus. Dave McKean. Pub. Walker Books Ltd, 2010.

A book for reluctant readers that talks about some of the deep things in life like living, health and dieing.

Davie has a friend Slog and Slog’s father is dead. His father was a heavy smoker and bit by bit he lost his legs and the rest was going too. Before he died he promised Slog he would come back and see him in the spring and Slog believed him.

One day in early spring Davie and Slog are out walking and Slog sees a tramp that looks and dresses just like his father used to. Slog  is positive that the tramp is his father come back to see him. You will have to make your own mind up about that.

A short story that won The National Short Story competition in 2007, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and now it is a book illustrated by Dave McKean who famously illustrated Neil Gaiman’s picture book Wolves in the Walls and the Newbery medal winning The Graveyard Book. Read these as well they are brilliant stories.

Dave McKean’s illustrations are just brilliant and give a dimension to the story that is supportive of the written text, yet add a mysterious element of their own.

Will appeal to many levels from Intermediate to Senior Secondary. Don’t miss it.

Blue Peter best Book Awards 2017 Winners

July 13, 2017 Comments off

anti boredomThe Anti-Boredom Book Of Brilliant Outdoor Things to do by Andy seed, Illus. Scott Garrett. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2017.

These two books are not fiction titles but are equally valuable in getting kids to do things during the holidays for instance and to inspire their imaginations.

Fun can be created simply in your own environment with a little effort and imagination. In the outdoors Make a garden, photograph things up close, play pooh sticks (my favourite), make a shelter, enjoy sponge bombs, create sand art and a host of other activities.

You should never be bored again if you have this book. Of course there are some silly things in here as well but you will have to read it yourself to find out what they are.

Excellent illustrations show you how and highlight the fun to be had. So turn off the tv, shut down the play station and get outside for some fun.

Aimed at primary and intermediate school aged pupils.

book of meThe Book of Me by Adam Frost, illus. Sarah Ray. Pub Bloomsbury Childrens Books, 2017.

This is a book that helps you take a good look at yourself, the things that you do and the people who are the most important in your life like your dad and mum.

It gets you to look at the things that you like and dislike, what makes you happy and sad and how you would like the world to be. It suggests ways in which you can test yourself.

Where are you most ticklish? If you had a tail what would you prefer? can you snap your fingers or juggle?

And your parents. Do they embarrass you in front of your friends? How does your dad dance to music – like a rock god, a total freak out or just a head bob.

Lots of laughs to make that rainy day pass quickly. For Primary and intermediate kids



The Monkey and the Moonbeam by Jonathon Smith. Pub. Little love imprint Mary Egan Publishing, 2022

July 13, 2022 Comments off

Where is the most comfortable bed you have ever slept in? NicNic asks his mom this as she is telling stories before the children went to sleep.

NicNic in his bed of soft leaves dreams of sleeping on flamingo feathers in Chile, a lions mane in Tanzania, a kangaroo’s pouch in Australia, powdery snow in the Himalayas and other places.

After all his adventures he realises that the best sleep is related to something else. I wonder what it is? Check this Picture book out and see for yourself.

A read aloud story for young children with superb illustrations. NicNic is a monkey living with his mum and dad and we see him in various guises and in various environments.

I did worry on first reading about whether there are flamingos in Chile. There are in the Atacama desert.

An excellent first publication. Some good wisdom for parents.