Dear Dad, I want to be just like you by Ed Allen

cover image

Ill. by Simon Williams. Scholastic Australia, 2015. ISBN 9781760153496
(Age 5-9) Recommended. Father's Day. Humour. This is a picture book that has letters to open and flaps to lift and it would be an ideal present for children to share with their father especially on Father's Day. Included are some very funny letters to different fathers, including a crocodile, a whale, a rooster, a kangaroo, a penguin and many other animals. The one to a Kookaburra father has a joke inside that young children will love while some of the others will make the reader think about the animal and what it can do. I especially liked the letter from Tad to his father the frog, saying 'Soon we will be able to hop and catch flies together' and wanted to find out more about the penguin father who looked after his two children while Mum was away.
The illustrations are bright and colourful and will appeal to the target audience. They complement the funny text and add to the humour of the book. The letters that can be taken out of their little envelopes are quite sturdy, but may not stand up to a class handling the book, although each envelope is a different size and has clues about what letter belongs to it. Thus the letter from the puppies has paw prints on it. Confident readers may well enjoy taking all the letters out and then working out which one belongs in what envelope!
The clever and funny text about what makes each animal dad so special is a highlight of this book. It would be fun to work out just what is amazing about children's fathers and the final page has note paper that the child can pull out to write a letter to their own Dad.
Pat Pledger