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How to Cheer Up Dad Hardcover – March 20, 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 45 ratings

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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

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Dial Books (March 20, 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0803739222
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0803739222
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 3 - 5 years
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12.2 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 9.38 x 0.25 x 9.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 45 ratings

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Fred Koehler is an artist and writer whose real-life misadventures include sunken boats, shark encounters, and getting caught in a hurricane. Whether freediving in the Gulf of Mexico or backpacking across Africa, Fred’s sense of adventure and awe of nature overflow into his characters’ stories. He won a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award for his illustrations for One Day, The End. Fred is passionate about encouraging young artists, promoting social justice, and conserving our environment. He lives in Florida with his wife, kids, and a rescue dog named Cheerio Mutt-Face McChubbybutt. Visit www.ilikefred.com

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