I Love You Dino-Daddy by Mark Sperring

cover image

Ill. by Sam Lloyd. Bloomsbury, 2018. ISBN 9781408893449
(Ages: 3-6) Themes: Fathers, Rhyming book. As a republication of a 2015 title, initially published as "Dino-Daddy", this puffy hardcover book has a shiny foil title that somehow makes it seem cheap at first glance. However, on opening it contains first-rate illustrations (the cover illustration is overshadowed by the glittery text and stars) and a rather lovely rhyming text. The dinosaur family are a beautiful vibrant green with rich facial expressions and oodles of energy. The pictures are imbued with a sense of fun, chaos and craziness that many kids will identify with as how it feels to hang out with dad. Hands-on, rough and tumble play, silly magic tricks and jokes on dad when he falls asleep on the couch are all accounted for. This is gender stereotypical, with dad being the fun, slightly irresponsible parent, but entertaining nonetheless (and you could always swap Daddy for Mummy when reading). The simple, rhyming text reads aloud well ("And though he has a list of jobs he has to dino-do, he always seems to find the time to play a game . . . or two!") and the humorous illustrations do a lot of the talking. A great Father's Day gift or read aloud that celebrates time spent together.
Nicole Nelson