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How to Cheer Up Dad Hardcover – March 20, 2014


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS—Little Jumbo's Dad is having a bad day. The cereal on the floor, the raisins stuck to the ceiling, and the game of hide-and-seek at bath time are not helping. Little Jumbo spends his time-out thinking of a way to cheer him up. A hug, a game of catch, and some ice cream start to do the trick. The simple, direct sentences provide the facts, but Koehler's digitally rendered pencil and pen drawings tell the real story of Little Jumbo's mischief. The understatement that "At breakfast, Dad put raisins in Little Jumbo's oatmeal./He should have known what a mess that would make" is complemented by pictures of Little Jumbo blowing raisins at the ceiling through his trunk, while "Dad forgot that Little Jumbo did not like wearing his brown overalls" is further clarified by the young elephant running down the street stark naked as Dad chases him with his clothes. Thick, black curving outlines give the elephants life against the angular, straight edges used for the household setting. Color is used sparingly and effectively, drawing attention to Little Jumbo's antics. Don't save this homage to Dads and their little mischief-makers just for Father's Day—it can be shared any time of year.—Kristine M. Casper, Huntington Public Library, NY

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The expressive illustrations set the tone for this story demonstrating filial challenges and ongoing love. From the book jacket onward, Little Jumbo, a lively young elephant, is into or on top of everything, including Dad’s stomach. Dad is not happy. Little Jumbo, however, is. When Dad forgets his son doesn’t like wearing his brown overalls, the gray-and-brown colored art, highlighted with spots of color, shows triumphant, naked Jumbo running free, with a frantic father trying to catch him. Despite this kind of action, Koehler’s true focus is on the visual interchanges between these two well-defined and charming characters. With the setting’s minimalist backgrounds, facial expressions are easy to observe and decipher. Young readers will also learn a bit about empathy as the story progresses from Dad’s trials to Little Jumbo’s plans to make amends through shared pleasures, such as giving a hug, playing ball, and reading a book. All seems resolved until the final page, where childhood antics are celebrated once again. This debut author-illustrator gets the father-son relationship just right in a story that’s warm and memorable. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Edie Ching
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books (March 20, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803739222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803739222
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Fred Koehler wrote and illustrated his first book at age seven titled SAMMY THE SHOESTRING. It went on to win a shiny gold star sticker and an iced cinnamon bun from the vending machine in the teachers' lounge. From that point on, Fred has never stopped doodling or writing stories (except when he tried to be a grown-up for a few years, which didn't really work out). He lives, works, and plays in Lakeland, Florida.

Customer Reviews

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See all 21 customer reviews
It's a super cute story with sweet illustrations.
Ginger
I love reading this to my son before bed time each night.
Tiffany L Ryan
I highly recommend this book for kids of all ages.
A. Padron

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jamagan on March 25, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A phenomenal children's book with great illustrations. I bought this for my three year old niece and she made me read it to her several times the day I brought it to her. As much as she loves hearing stories, at her age she's automatically drawn to the pictures. She wants to stop on each page and look at them, asking questions and pointing out the action. This was a great book to catch and keep a child's attentions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan Banghart on July 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I confess, I am an adult with no toddler children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews. But I love picture books. Especially Ian Falconer's Olivia and Mo Willems' Knuffle Bunny. They're the kind of books that touch the children they're meant for and draw out the children in adults. Fred Koehler has written such a book. I hope to see more of Dad and Little Jumbo!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By biochemken on March 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Koehler does a phenomenal job of capturing the perspective and emotion of both Father and Son in this story. The illustration is beautifully done and reminds me of the way Bill Watterson used illustration to tell the story beyond the words of Calvin and Hobbes. This one's a winner for sure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Wolff on March 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover
My children, ages 6, 3 and 16 months were all captivated by Little Jumbo. The illustrations have a vintage feel but the story is fresh. The characters are so easy to love because we can see our own family through them. We can't wait to see where Jumbo and his dad go next!
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Format: Hardcover
Want to know how to cheer up a reader - buy this book! Fred is such a talented writer and illustrator. He really knows how to infuse humor with simplicity to create a fabulous book for kids. I love the relationship between the characters and the expressions on their faces is priceless. And the illustrations are so well done and really capture the moment between a child (I mean, young elephant lad) and his dad. I highly recommend this book for kids of all ages.
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Format: Hardcover
My husband, son and I love this book!! My son is 8 months old and he LOVES looking at the pictures and listening to us read it to him. We love it so much we nicknamed our son "Little Jumbo"

Fred Koehler has written a terrific book. The illustrations are wonderful and the message is so sweet. It's a book that will be a classic in our family for years to come.
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Format: Hardcover
An instant classic! this is a great read aloud book for dads (or for anyone who wants to read a great book to kids). All my kids enjoy this book. Little Jumbo is a lovable character with lots of emotion that kids can relate to. My two year old daughter likes to make the faces that Little Jumbo makes on each page as I read it. I highly recommend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
Bought 2 for my grandchildren, but have kept 1 for myself. The illustrations are wonderful; but, the story is timeless and told so sweetly from a child's point of view. My grandchildren have loved it, and asked for Little Jumbo many times. It's a definite favorite for them and for me! Can we expect more Little Jumbo adventures? I sure hope so!
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