My Dad is a Grizzly Bear (Swapna Haddow)

Hello, friends! Our book today is My Dad is a Grizzly Bear, written by Swapna Haddow and illustrated by Dapo Adeola, a fun look at a father with distinctly ursine qualities.

Be cautious, be careful, and be aware; the unnamed narrator of this silly tale has a hulking grizzly bear for a father! Fuzzy fur on his face, enormous paws, and a love of honey – yup, all pretty bearlike! He also falls asleep anywhere, then growls and grunts when he wakes, hunting for food. He also LOVES the outdoors, taking his kiddos camping and hiking, even though it’s soggy or rainy sometimes. But when the narrator is scared, there is no one who gives better bear hugs.

Sweet and silly. Haddow’s conversational text exploring the many bear-reminiscent qualities of the narrator’s father will definitely inspire some giggles in young readers, especially for those who have parents of their own that share said habits. For those reading aloud, there’s a strange rhythm on the first page that suggests the book’s text will be rhyming – it’s not – and it may cause a stumble on the first read, but the story itself is fun and warm (possibly with the exception of the narrator’s mother terrifying her children with stories of bears on a camping trip). The illustrations are equally amusing, depicting the characters’ mixed-race family with humor and affection. My only other complaint is equally small as the previous two, but there is something about the pale flesh-colored patches around the father’s eyes when he is depicted as a bear that just… weirded me out. But that could absolutely be a hangup unique to me – JJ loved the artwork and story, and the length was perfect for a storytime. Overall, an entertaining read to celebrate papa bears, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

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