Wild Pa by Claire Saxby

cover image

Ill. by Connah Brecon. Random House Australia, 2016. ISBN 9780857988003
My Pa is not a quiet Pa,
a sit-and-read-the-news Pa.
My Pa is a Wild Pa -
and Wild Pas are lots of fun

Indeed they are as they chase their grandsons through the dunes in full pirate garb; grow peas in crazy shapes; cook up spectacular meals; and even indulge in a full-on food fight. Not for this grandfather the conventional "comb-his-three-long-strands" pa; the "trim-and-tidy-roses" pa; or even the traditional baked beans or sausages, But for all his fun and games, this pa is nevertheless responsible and knows "when enough is quite enough".
This is an hilarious romp written in rhyme that leaps off the pages with its actions and colourful illustrations. Right from the front cover which depicts Pa and grandson swinging Tarzan-like across the crocodile-infested pond you know this will be a story of fun and frolics that will engage young readers from the get-go. Pa is cleverly depicted as just an adult version of his younger relative, distinguished only by a somewhat dodgy moustache and beard, emphasising the role model he is offering both as a grandfather but also a caring family member. The endpapers are delightful - from swinging on a somewhat worse-for-wear clothesline to the suggestion that perhaps they are now in the doghouse!!
Many schools now celebrate Grandparents Day and this titles like Miss Mae's Saturday would be perfect as part of a display about grandparents that could be shared on this day - or as part of a special selection in a Book Fair. Young children will delight in telling their own stories about their own grandfathers (who are no more the stereotypical white-haired chap in a cardigan and slippers than the grey-haired, bun wearing grandmother sitting in her chair knitting) and will begin to understand the family structure as they do. Sometimes they are a whole lot of fun with a lot of wild ideas!!!
Barbara Braxton