From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 1—In this humorous paean to fatherhood, a rounded, Raschka-esque hippo explains that he is so smart that he shows his dad how to do things. Shea goes through a series of scenarios in which the father gets his son to do what he wants by pretending he doesn't know how to do it correctly. When the youngster claims to be "busy getting dressed," the pictures show him watching TV in his underwear. The father proceeds to mix up his clothing and asks, "Is this
how you get dressed?" prompting the child to respond, "Oh, Daddy! This
is how you get dressed!" And so it goes, ending with the boy showing his father how to give big hugs. The concise text captures the child's voice perfectly, and the well-placed page-turns effectively set up what comical thing the adult has done to prompt each "Oh, Daddy!" The mixed-media illustrations incorporate collage elements into a spare, cartoonlike world depicting thickly outlined blue hippos with dot eyes and expressive faces. The gentle humor evident in the contrasts between text and pictures, as well as the scenes of the father doing things outrageously wrong, will keep kids entertained. This will work equally well in storytimes or one-on-one. Buy it for Father's Day and put it out all year as an antidote to the cloyingly sweet parent-child books glutting the market.—Amy Lilien-Harper, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT
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From the author of the popular Dinosaur vs. Bedtime (2008), this stylistically simple and undeniably hip book is sure to captivate the under-five set. In pictures using a mostly four-color scheme, and that also feature textural pops of photo detail (a burlap-covered couch, a spray of tossed carrots), a little hippo and his father playfully get through a day’s worth of activities, from getting dressed to eating lunch to hugging. The catch is the youngster has to show Dad how these things need to be done. When Daddy climbs through the car window before they go to visit Grandma, his son demonstrates how the car door opens. “See? Easy peasy, mac and cheesy!” Little readers will like Daddy’s silliness (in one scene he places his underwear on his head), while adult caretakers will appreciate Dad’s gentle use of psychology. Observant tots will also delight in the TV appearance of Shea’s dinosaur in several scenes. Overall, an enjoyable romp and a worthy addition to the many daddy-child volumes on picture-book shelves. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Karen Cruze