For an unabashedly unsentimental laugh-out-loud tale that celebrates fathers’ loving, playful side—as well as their...

GIDDY-UP, DADDY!

In this hilarious romp, a daddy must call upon his stellar horsing-around abilities to guarantee a good time be had by all.

“Once there was a dad who was really good at playing horsey. Seriously, he was the best.” This first page of the book shows little brother and older sister perched on his back ready for adventure. One day, dad is outside practicing his jumps when a couple of sinister horse rustlers capture him. So begins the quest to find dad, rescue him and escape up north. Their journey takes them at a rapid pace to a rodeo, onto the tight rope in a circus tent, into the middle of a polo match, onto the racetrack during the Kentucky Derby and up the side of a Canadian mountain. During each part of their travels, Daddy makes sure to keep them safe since they are constantly just one step ahead of rustlers. With danger always lurking, the text has a lot of “but then”s spurring readers to quickly turn each page. Cummings dresses the thrilling tale with cartoony illustrations chock-full of zany details that kids will find appealing (but perhaps at times a bit frenetic). As one can guess, the kids save the day and their horsey daddy all in time for dinnertime at sunset.

For an unabashedly unsentimental laugh-out-loud tale that celebrates fathers’ loving, playful side—as well as their stamina—look no further. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 23, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-97856-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection.

DADDIES ARE AWESOME

Puppies celebrate the many ways their dads are awesome.

“Daddies are playful. / They swing you around. // You ride on their shoulders / or hang upside down.” The first spread pictures a scruffy pup, mouth clamped on its dad’s tail, hanging. The second features a long dachshund, his four pups using the large expanse of his back as a jungle gym or resting spot. The husky dad is labeled as daring, brave, and strong, while the hound takes his pup on adventures (digging and hiding under a bush). Other dog dads give kisses and tickles, tell bedtime stories and help count sheep (a stuffed toy), and help their pups grow (challenging them with stairs and carrying them when the going gets tough). Lovšin creatively interprets some of the text that applies well to kids but not so well to canines: dad and pup at each end of a long stick held in their mouths is the dog equivalent of holding hands. Though many dog breeds will be familiar, some are just mutts, though all are shown caring for and enjoying the company of their offspring. White backgrounds keep the focus on the dogs.

Daddy-and-child dog lovers can try some of these canine ways of expressing affection. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: May 17, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-452-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

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Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration.

I LOVE DADDY EVERY DAY

Children point out the things they love about their fathers.

“Daddy is always kind. He gives us support and shelter when things go wrong.” A child with a skinned knee (and downed ice cream cone) gets a bandage and loving pat from Daddy (no shelter is visible, but the child’s concerned sibling sweetly extends their own cone). Daddy’s a storyteller, a magician, supportive, loyal, silly, patient, and he knows everything. A die-cut hole pierces most pages, positioned so that the increasingly smaller holes to come can be seen through it; what it represents in each scene varies, and it does so with also-variable success. The bland, nonrhyming, inconsistent text does little to attract or keep attention, though the die cuts might (until they fall victim to curious fingers). The text also confusingly mixes first-person singular and plural, sometimes on the same page: “Daddy is like a gardener. He lovingly cares for us and watches us grow. I’m his pride and joy!” Even as the text mixes number the illustrations mix metaphors. This particular gardener daddy is pictured shampooing a child during bathtime. Más’ cartoon illustrations are sweet if murkily interpretive, affection clearly conveyed. Troublingly, though, each father and his child(ren) seem to share the same racial presentation and hair color (sometimes even hairstyle!), shutting out many different family constellations. Más does, however, portray several disabilities: children and adults wearing glasses, a child with a cochlear implant, and another using a wheelchair.

Skip this well-meaning but poorly executed celebration. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-12305-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Rodale Kids

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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