Review Blog

May 08 2018

Dad by my side by Soosh

cover image

Lothian Children's Books, 2018. ISBN 9780734418739
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Themes: Fathers. Daughters. Relationships. Family. Love. The most beautiful watercolour illustrations demonstrate from page one the loving relationship between a father and his daughter. Dad is depicted as a very large person indeed, with his slightly too small shirt and pants, thongs and very curly beard and hair. He dotes on his daughter; they do everything together, sharing their days as they play games, read, talk, cook and try new things. But not only this, he stops his work to listen to her, he comforts her when she is sad and gives her lots of cuddles. When he goes away they are both sad, but he rings often to sing her to sleep. He makes marks on the door frame to show how much she has grown, learns from her just as much as she learns from him.
The highly humorous illustrations will tickle the readers as they spy the large man attempting to do everything his daughter wants him to do. Seeing him crawling under the table, or keeping watch as she sleeps, ready to take on the monsters that may lie under her bed will delight and endear the story to the readers, exposing some of the fears they may have. Each image underlines the bond between the two and reiterates what a happy household is like where things are shared, where the child is supported, where Dad is part of the meld.
A lovely story to read out loud, to give to children to learn to read for themselves, for children to see how much of the story relies upon the illustrations, and how much the illustrations tell the reader.
The text and images speak for themselves and make the word from the author at the end seem rather superfluous.
The endpapers recreate some of the images used in the book.
Fran Knight

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