Daddy Dressed Me (Michael Gardner & Ava Gardner)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Daddy Dressed Me, written by Michael Gardner and Ava Gardner, and illustrated by Nadia Fisher, a touching dad-and-daughter story about how mutual love and support can inspire us to do our best.

Ava’s dad is incredibly creative and crafty; he makes delicious dinners, paints flowers on her bedroom walls, and made her a shiny crown for her last birthday! But his greatest skill is sewing, and Ava is always excited to show off the stylish dresses he sews for her. One day at school, Ava learns that during the Move Up Day ceremony she will be presenting a piece of poetry – memorized! – and will need to dress to impress. Obviously, Ava turns to her dad, and the two decide on a plan: Daddy will help Ava memorize her poem, and Ava will design and help craft a spectacular dress, one that will give her confidence. Together, this father-daughter duo can’t fail, but can they complete their projects in time?

Heartfelt, warm, and affirming. Based on the real-life Ava and her father Michael, this is a simple tale of familial support and teamwork, as well as parental love. Ava and her daddy share a close bond that many kids and their parents will relate to, and it’s wonderful to see them working together and supporting each other as they each tackle a new challenge. What truly sets this story apart is the way is breaks from traditional gender roles, not only showing a father passionate about traditionally “feminine” hobbies, but also one who is a confident caregiver, and one who is comfortable having flaws or making mistakes. It adds a wonderful layer of depth to Daddy and Ava’s story, and assures readers of all ages that the best way to be a father is to simply show earnest love. The artwork is fine; scenes revolving around the in-progress dress are standouts, but many other scenes are lacking in texture and depth and come off a little flat. Otherwise, the book’s length is great for storytime, and JJ liked it a lot. Overall, we would definitely recommend it, especially for dads and their little ones. 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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