Fearless: sons and daughter by Colin Thompson

cover image

Ill. by Sarah Davis. ABC Books, 2015. ISBN 9780733330872
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Dogs. Animal behaviour. Babies. Fearless is a dad. Coming indoors one evening he finds Primrose with five writhing little pups beside her. They ponder together about where they came from, and Primrose settles into grooming them. Fearless tries to remember what life was like when he was a pup, and wonders what sort of dad he will be. At first the pups ignore him, but when he explains that he is their dad they all get along well, doing the things that dads do with their offspring. He plays with them, models behaviour, tells them of the dangers that lurk in the garden. The pond is a target of further explanation as sharks lurk in there so it is a place to stay away from.
Over the weeks four of the puppies go to other homes and the remaining puppy and Primrose thinks that they may have fallen into the pond and so investigate. Fearless saves the day, showing the protective nature of fathers within the family as Fearless overcomes his fear of the water to save Primrose and Eric.
This is a delight as Sarah Davis has produced a set of pictures which reflect the behaviour of parents towards their children, modeling the sorts of behaviour expected, showing the sorts of things fathers do with their babies, and they are varied, funny and cute.
Throughout the book, the text subtly shows the family interacting, and how the father is part of the family unit, guiding, modelling, telling and protecting. His role is tantamount to the pup's safety as it grows up. This is a lovely book about nurturing to share in the classroom and at home.
Fran Knight