You Be Daddy (Karla Clark)

Hello, friends! Our book today is You Be Daddy, written by Karla Clark and illustrated by Steph Lew, a natural companion title to Clark’s previous book, You Be Mommy.

As with You Be Mommy, a tired parent – a father this time – jokingly mentions how exhausted he is, and makes a request of his youngest child: “Can you be Daddy?”. Gamely, his young song runs his father a bubble bath (with fun bath toys, of course), then builds a bedtime fort for two. As the two prepare for “Daddy’s” bedtime, Dad recounts the busy, taxing day he had: crazy traffic, cooking, cleaning up messes, paying bills, and making time for play. His youngest son is happy to make sure he is tucked in with a cuddly stuffie and a warm nightlight, taking care of dad just the way that dad takes care of him… until the little boy needs to put into his own bed, of course. Then Dad does what dads do, and finds the energy to make sure his kiddo is taken care of.

Very sweet. As with You Be Mommy, the concept of switching the parent-child roles during bedtime is done with humor and affection, creating a playful moments between a fictional father and child that readers can identify with. It also gives young readers a glimpse into all that parents do for their kids during the day, creating empathy for when their own parents might be a little worn out before bedtime. Lew’s illustrations are lovely, giving warmth and charm to the characters with details like the son’s clear love of dinosaurs, as well as visual representations of the family’s Chinese heritage within their home. There are also clues within the artwork that, unlike You Be Mommy, this is a two-parent household; this doesn’t detract from the quality of the story, but does feel like a missed opportunity to represent single fathers, who are a marginalized demographic in kidlit. Otherwise, the length is perfect for a bedtime book, and JJ loved the artwork and gentle story. This would make a great read for any father and child to share, 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.)

My Papa Is A Princess (Doug Cenko)

(Due to unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to post last night’s review. Sorry for the delay!)

Hello, friends! Our book today is My Papa Is A Princess by Doug Cenko, a heartwarming look at the many things a father can be.

The reader is introduced to the papa-daughter duo by the unnamed child narrator: “My Papa is…”. He’s a racecar driver, an art collector, a hair stylist, a master chef. Each example is shown in the fantastical image through his child’s eyes followed by the reality – playing with toy cars on the floor, admiring a collection of crayon drawings, braiding his child’s pigtails, and cooking a meal – all as a pair. But the best thing Papa is? He’s Papa!

This was wonderful! I loved the mixture of father-child (the youngster appears to be a little girl, but this is subtly never defined) activities: some are masculine, some are feminine, and both characters are clearly enjoying their time together regardless. The illustrations are warm and loving, with both versions of the various “jobs” being a treat to compare. The text is simple and sweet, making for a quick yet easily repeated read. And clearly, JJ was a fan. This is a fantastic story for daddies and their own little bookworms to share, and we loved it. Baby Bookworm approved!

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

Dad By My Side (Soosh)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Dad By My Side by Soosh, a touching ode to fatherhood.

In a series of vignettes, we meet a burly dad and his tiny daughter, getting a look into the things they like to do together. The reader is shown scenes of cooking, swimming, reading, playing, or simply hanging out with one another. The girl notes that her dad comforts her through the bad times (such as when her turtle passes away), protects her from monsters under the bed, and never misses a lullaby, even when he’s away. With all this love, guidance, and support, the little girl can see the stars, because with “Dad by my side, there’s nothing we can’t do.”

Positively precious. Each scene is as warm, cozy, and sentimental as the last, and will cut straight to the heart of any dad (especially the sizeable teddy bear variety like JJ’s daddy). I loved the variety of the father-daughter activities, especially the inclusion of some traditional feminine bonding activities such as sewing a dress or doing hair for a dance recital – it shows that no caring dad is too big or tough to take interest in his daughter’s hobbies. The watercolor illustrations are beautiful, humorous, and heartwarming, and the minimal text is just right. The length was great, and JJ loved it. A beautiful look at the special bond between dads and their little ones, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

I Wonder: Celebrating Daddies Doin’ Work (Doyin Richards)

Hello, friends! Our book today is I Wonder: Celebrating Daddies Doin’ Work by Doyin Richards, a look at modern-day daddies and the way they care for and love their little ones.

While childrens’ lives are filled with wonderings, they may be surprised to find that their daddies wonder lots of things too! Daddies wonder if their children like the things they do together, or the photos they take, or the ponytail they put in their kiddo’s hair. They wonder if their babies understand why they may be firm or strict, or why they want to teach them to do new things and never stop dreaming or trying. But most of all, they wonder if their little ones understand just how must they are loved – but when they see a brilliant smile on their child’s face, they thank goodness that they get to be their children’s very own daddy.

Very sweet. Inspired by Richards’s blog, Daddy Doin’ Work, and filled with real photos of Richards and his followers with their children, the book features a fairly comprehensive look at modern dads, namely the affections and responsibilities of fatherhood. The text comes from a place of devotion, feeling, and hope, and isn’t afraid to show real emotion. I also respect that a few of the included examples of fatherly responsibilities bucked gender norm expectations, such as noting that daddies do hair, cook meals, and show empathy and comfort. In fact, I would have loved to see more of these, such as daddies playing tea party or dolls, but the examples that were there were refreshing. The photos also feature a healthy range of skintones, body types, and ethnicities, which is always welcome. The length is fine, and JJ enjoyed the photos very much. Overall, a cute look at fatherhood in the 21st century, 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.)

Daddies Do (Lezlie Evans)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Daddies Do, written by Lezlie Evans and illustrated by Elisa Ferro, a sweet ode to fathers and all the ways they show love and care for their little ones.

Daddies do so much. They build and fix, cook and teach, wash and joke, and so much more. They’re in the front row of your school play, clapping and showing their support. They wrestle and even pretend that you are stronger so you can win. They measure you as you grow, and sometimes fall asleep reading you bedtime stories. And who helps get you washed up, dressed in your pajamas and tucked into bed? “Daddies do, that’s who!”

Cheerfully sweet. Using bouncy rhyming text with a simple rhythm and a refrain that kids can join in on, we are given a wide range of ways that dads show care for their children. I especially liked that, in addition to more traditional “daddy duties” like roughhousing, building, and playing sports, there were more nurturing activities included like cooking or comforting their child when sick. The illustrations, showing a jungle full of animal daddies and their children, are colorful and engaging, and have some wonderful details that kids will love. The length is perfect for a bookworm of any size, and JJ adored the art. This is a great book for any daddy to share with their own little cub, 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.)