Laine Mitchell (text), Renée Treml (illus.), Daddy, You’re Awesome, Scholastic, 1 August 2015, 24pp., $16.99 (hbk), ISBN 978 1 76015 050 1
Cori Brooke (text), Giuseppe Poli (illus.), Fearless with Dad, New Frontier, 2 July 2015, 32pp., $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 978 1 925059403
Daddy, You’re Awesome involves ten baby animals celebrating the special things that they love doing with their fathers. Creatures as diverse as polar bears, tigers, owls and crocodiles have fun making things, telling stories, identifying insects, and camping. Their adventures are related in (sometimes forced) rhyming couplets but the shared enjoyment is evident on every page thanks to the engaging illustrations that convey the creatures’ personalities and are full of appealing details. Ages 2-5.
Fearless with Dad has a different but equally appealing approach to children sharing adventures with their fathers. Some are realistic experiences such as cooking, surfing, building and gardening, while others are fantastic such as travelling to the moon and back, but all the activities have the element of optimism. In addition, there are examples of simply being oneself with Dad: being happy or sad, silly or serious, daggy or cool. The illustrations are bright and breezy but unfortunately the same small boy is used throughout; some featuring a little girl would have extended the appeal. Ages 3-5.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Douglas