My Dad

( 4 )


A new book from the 2000 Hans Christian Andersen Medalist.

He's all right, my dad."

In an endearing homage to dads everywhere, a boy describes — and exaggerates — the many accomplishments and feats of his father. Among the traits praised are his enormous talent for singing, his near-professional wrestling skills, his extreme bravery in the face of danger (he's not even afraid of the Big Bad Wolf!), and his ability to — quite literally, in ...

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A new book from the 2000 Hans Christian Andersen Medalist.

He's all right, my dad."

In an endearing homage to dads everywhere, a boy describes — and exaggerates — the many accomplishments and feats of his father. Among the traits praised are his enormous talent for singing, his near-professional wrestling skills, his extreme bravery in the face of danger (he's not even afraid of the Big Bad Wolf!), and his ability to — quite literally, in Anthony Browne's world — eat like a horse. All of the pictures feature the lovable pater in his signature plaid bathrobe, adding a further comfy layer to a book whose ultimate message is "I love my dad. And you know what? HE LOVES ME! (And he always will.)"

Anthony Browne is a two-time winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal. His many children's books include Gorilla and Willy the Champ. He lives in Kent, England.

A child describes the many wonderful things about "my dad," who can jump over the moon, swim like a fish, and be as warm as toast.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
An ordinary-looking man in blue-striped pajamas and a plaid bathrobe is introduced on the first page of this entertaining book, accompanied by the line, "He's all right, my dad." But Dad turns out to be far more than all right. He scares away a wolf, jumps over the moon and walks along the clothesline as if it were a tightrope. His only failing is housework, an unfortunate cliché. Each of the large, surreal illustrations includes the humorous, subtle touches that make Browne's books so much fun. A tribute to an admired father by one of Britain's most innovative children's book creators.
—Kathleen Odean

(Excerpted Review)
Publishers Weekly
My Dad by Anthony Browne now appears in a paper-over-board miniature edition. Of the original, PW said, "With well-measured doses of hyperbole, sentiment and humor, Browne delivers an endearing paean to patriarchs." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With well-measured doses of hyperbole, sentiment and humor, Browne (Voices in the Park) delivers an endearing paean to patriarchs. "He's all right, my dad," begins the young narrator, pictured only in the final painting, receiving a giant hug from the object of his affection. Each page celebrates a specific quality or accomplishment of Dad, illustrated with characteristically witty panache. Accompanying the proclamation that "My dad isn't afraid of ANYTHING, even the Big Bad Wolf," is a picture of the fellow showing an overall-clad wolf the door, as Red Riding Hood and three pigs peer out from behind a tree in the background; in another, the boy thinks his dad ranks as one of the three tenors ("a brilliant singer," Dad is flanked by Pavarotti and Domingo). Some of Browne's playful imagery is obvious: the plaid pattern of Dad's bathrobe appears on a piece of toast popping out of the toaster, and he assumes the likeness of a variety of animals as the child announces that "My dad can eat like a horse," "swim like a fish," etc. Yet sometimes the artist creates some slyer graphic pranks. A childlike drawing of a sun that hangs on the wall on the opening page, for example, later appears in a smaller dimension as a button on Dad's pajamas. And as the father bounces a soccer ball on his knee, trees in the distance are shaped like balls used in various sports. All ages. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
"He's all right, my dad," the narrator states this phrase at the beginning and repeats it throughout this tribute to fatherhood. The child sees his father as the bravest, strongest, fastest, funniest man, while we see him pictured in his blue striped pajamas, brown plaid bathrobe and red slippers and later transformed into a number of things, among them a horse, a fish and a wise old owl, and always in his signature clothing. Browne's artwork extends and exaggerates the praise and humor. When dad is sending the Big Bad Wolf out the door, we see Little Red Riding Hood and the Three Pigs peering out from behind a tree. There are other allusions to nursery rhymes and intriguing elements such as the socks sitting atop the clothesline, a king in the audience at a wrestling match and a runner on his cell phone. It is full of similes and humorous illustrations that give literal interpretations of them. Browne has successfully captured the admiration and love of a child for a parent. The sun plays an important part in the illustrations, and can be seen in a variety of ways as a corona around dad's head. From the brown plaid toast at the beginning to the child jumping into his father's arms at the end, this celebration is "all right!" Issued originally as a picture book, this special mini edition is just right for Father's Day or any other occasion honoring a dad. 2004, Farrar Straus Giroux, Ages 3 to 7.
—Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-As a small child catalogs his father's admirable traits, full-page chalk-and-gouache illustrations humorously portray a pajama-and-bathrobe-clad, round-faced man masterfully demonstrating each accolade. He is brave, resourceful, strong, happy, fast, big, soft, and wise. He dances, sings, plays soccer, and makes faces. He eats like a horse, and swims like a fish. This simple tribute closes with "I love my dad. And you know what? He loves me! (And he always will)." Browne has a winner here. The clever pictures have true child appeal. Single lines of text with lots of white space narrate the softly colored, energetic illustrations. Dad's brown-plaid bathrobe pattern is repeated in unusual items throughout (plaid toast, plaid fish, a plaid teddy), and his heroics are laughably tender, particularly when he sends the Big Bad Wolf out the door. A great tribute to fathers everywhere and a fine inspiration for children to create a "my dad" list of their own.-Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Greenaway and Hans Christian Andersen medallist Browne presents a sweet-natured celebration of Dad in all his infinite variety. Browne, a master of the colored-pencil and wash illustration, has an almost preternatural gift for balancing delicious detail with winning whimsy. Here, warmly appealing, carefully composed pictures feature a simple and wonderfully appealing motif—an umber, sepia, and sunny yellow-toned plaid bathrobe fabric as unique visual shorthand for, well . . . Dad. From our first view of him (clasping a mug of tea at the breakfast table) to last (clasping the androgynous child narrator in a feet-off-the-ground hug), he's reliably clad in his all-occasion snappy blue-and-white-striped pajamas, cozy red slippers, and his "signature" woolen plaid dressing gown. Whether Browne depicts him as a horse tucking into a huge mound of beans, chips, eggs, and tomatoes, a professional wrestler, competing in school field day, or even as weightlifting gorilla, he's the man in plaid. The publisher may have done a disservice to Dads as well as the book in their well-meaning attempt at improved accessibility for the American audience. In a central spread, bath-robed and mortarboard-clad owl as Dad is posed professorially against a chalkboard covered with arithmetic problems. The facing page then depicts Dad proudly posed (à la American Gothic) with a stiff push broom that pleasingly matches his equally stiff and contoured, flat-top hair—once called a "brush cut." The original text reads: "He's as wise as an owl and as bristly as a brush. He's all right my dad." The newest version instead captions Dad with broom: "except when he tries to help. He's all right mydad." Click. A singularly unfortunate default to the stereotype that any man who engages in any family "life support" activities (like cleaning) is de facto inept. This disappointing spread is even more out-of-step in a book that celebrates the "every-Dad" in every way. Does this flaw/defect detract enough to merit a knee-jerk rejection? No. We can only hope the publisher will return to the original in future reprints. In the meantime, you might want to stock up for Father's Day. This one has family favorite written all over it. (Picture book. All ages)
From the Publisher
"A great tribute to fathers everywhere and a fine inspiration for children to create a 'my dad' list of their own." -Starred, School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374351014
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 AMER ED
  • Pages: 28
  • Sales rank: 362,108
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: BRL (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 10.75 (h) x 0.38 (d)

Meet the Author

ANTHONY BROWNE is a two-time winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal. His many children's books include Gorilla and Willy the Champ. He lives in Kent, England.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2003

    MY DAD is a Hit With Kids of All Ages

    Our friend recently returned from England and presented this book to our son. We all loved the illustrations and text. He brought it to his Kindergarten class and the kids loved it also. His teacher was so impressed with the book she took the information down to purchase a permanent copy for the class.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2001

    Strong Similes and Brilliant Illustrations Illuminate Father

    Children often see their fathers as unstoppable heroes. This book makes that case. One of the best ways to inspire a father to become even better in that role is to describe him in heroic ways. Fathers almost never see themselves in a suit of armor. But fathers will gladly wear the plating for a child, and love every moment of it. Mom or grandparents can create a lot of happiness for a father and his children by giving this book to preschoolers. Although the book is aged older by the publisher, I think it will work best for 2-5 year olds. The winning words of the text are made into brilliant images by the illustrations that take the words into a playful world of 'what if.' Fathers will take heart from the way their heroism is portrayed. They get to look like themselves part of the time, in bathrobe and exaggerated smiles. When the book says that they can jump over the moon, the illustration makes it clear that this is an optical illusion helped by having the moon be low on the horizon and the father being close to the viewer. A father also becomes as big as a house (not fat, mind you) by standing very close, again, to the viewer. But there are magical moments, when father is transformed into anthropomorphic animals wearing remnants of his normal attire. These are hilarious. I especially liked the one where dad is 'as happy as a hippopotamus.' The text does have a few places where real accomplishments are needed. 'He can . . . win the father's race on sports day, easily.' 'My dad's a great dancer, and a ballet singer.' 'He's fantastic at soccer . . . .' Fathers, don't be threatened by this! After all, the perspective is that of a preschooler, and you can do great things in all of those dimensions! My favorite part of the book was the end when the child says, 'I love my dad, And you know what? HE LOVE ME! (And he always will.)' This comes accompanied by a beautiful illustration of a father-child hug. Ah. You can make this an even more special Father's Day by including more items in the book that exemplify how your child thinks her or his dad is special. If your child will make some illustrations to go with those examples, you can touch even more heart strings and make the beautiful music of familial love. Then present these drawings inside the book, as a combined gift from Mom or grandparents and the children. 'He's all right, my dad.' Happy Father's Day! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2010

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