According to one little boy, his dad is just about the coolest thing since sliced bread. Equally at ease jumping over the moon and banishing the Big Bad Wolf, this fearless father, in his hideous brown plaid bathrobe and blue-striped pajamas, seems capable of anything. The awe and admiration in his son's tone are gratifying; his hyperboles are droll. "He's as strong as a gorilla, and as happy as a hippopotamus. He's all right, my dad." Dad appears (always in a robe and PJs) as a weightlifting, goofy gorilla and a frolicking hippo. At other times he's a brown plaid fish ("He can swim like a fish"), a placid-faced wrestler ("He can wrestle with giants"), and a tightrope walker (the tightrope looks remarkably like a clothesline, with Dad circumnavigating rainbow-colored socks).
Anthony Browne, award-winning author and illustrator of Willy's Pictures and many other witty picture books, pays bright and loving homage to that most remarkable of beings, the dad. Every illustration depicts the world as seen from the low height of the little boy narrator and through his starry-eyed gaze, as well. Sure, we might look at this man and see a slightly overweight fellow with five o'clock shadow and poor taste in nightwear, but to his son, this is Man. He is everything. And until that fateful day when the boy begins to roll his eyes at his dad's hopelessly embarrassing ways, Dad should just revel in the divine, unadulterated love of his child. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
With well-measured doses of hyperbole, sentiment and humor, Browne (Voices in the Park) delivers an endearing paean to patriarchs. "He's all right, my dad," begins the young narrator, pictured only in the final painting, receiving a giant hug from the object of his affection. Each page celebrates a specific quality or accomplishment of Dad, illustrated with characteristically witty panache. Accompanying the proclamation that "My dad isn't afraid of ANYTHING, even the Big Bad Wolf," is a picture of the fellow showing an overall-clad wolf the door, as Red Riding Hood and three pigs peer out from behind a tree in the background; in another, the boy thinks his dad ranks as one of the three tenors ("a brilliant singer," Dad is flanked by Pavarotti and Domingo). Some of Browne's playful imagery is obvious: the plaid pattern of Dad's bathrobe appears on a piece of toast popping out of the toaster, and he assumes the likeness of a variety of animals as the child announces that "My dad can eat like a horse," "swim like a fish," etc. Yet sometimes the artist creates some slyer graphic pranks. A childlike drawing of a sun that hangs on the wall on the opening page, for example, later appears in a smaller dimension as a button on Dad's pajamas. And as the father bounces a soccer ball on his knee, trees in the distance are shaped like balls used in various sports. All ages.
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