When a Dad Says "I Love You"


How do you like to hear “I love you”? This cozy picture book shows all the ways dads can say it best.

Dads know how to do everything. They can help with homework and carry you on their shoulders. They can make pancakes and teach you how to sing songs. These loving actions are just some of the ways dads show how much they care—and no matter how he says it, “I love you” is wonderful to hear!

From bestselling author Douglas Wood and illustrator ...

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How do you like to hear “I love you”? This cozy picture book shows all the ways dads can say it best.

Dads know how to do everything. They can help with homework and carry you on their shoulders. They can make pancakes and teach you how to sing songs. These loving actions are just some of the ways dads show how much they care—and no matter how he says it, “I love you” is wonderful to hear!

From bestselling author Douglas Wood and illustrator Jennifer Bell, a sunny, cuddly testament to the bond between father and child.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sometimes fathers express their love through actions instead of words, as several animal parents demonstrate. A rabbit father holds his daughter on his shoulders as a marching band passes (“A dad can say ‘I love you’ by carrying you on his shoulders just so you can see things better”), while a turtle father surveys a woodland landscape, “explaining what the world was like when he was little and dinosaurs still roamed the earth.” And a trio of images shows a dutiful cat reading his daughter’s favorite story “with voices for all the characters. Again. And again.” Sketched in pencil and colored digitally, Bell’s muted illustrations avoid the saccharine, instead homing in on the individual relationships and quiet moments shared between each father and child. Ages 3–6. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Dads are not ordinary, so dads in every imaginable form—bear, alligator, frog, duck; even elephant, pig, or giraffe—express their love in non-ordinary ways. They may produce breakfast pancakes from scratch, or help their child learn to keep their balance on a two-wheel bike. They might read your favorite story over and over and over again, or answer all your "why" questions. The bottom line, shown by all these animal dads, is the implication that human dads might be equally as inarticulate in their expressions of love. (Isn't it always Mom who sends kids off with, "Be good, honey, I love, you!") What the heck, who needs sloppy words? Just keep bringing on more pancakes, please! Jennifer Bell illustrates greeting cards as well as children's books, so her digitally finished pencil sketches are full of the very schmaltzy warmth that guys may not have, but warm the cockles of little ones' hearts. The end result will make for excellent bedtime reading. Reviewer: Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
PreS-K—Whether they are pigs, giraffes, foxes, elephants, or cats, all dads show their love, just not always in the most obvious way. Sometimes they give bear hugs, sing songs, or have tickle fights; other times it's through pancakes for breakfast, answering all of their kids' questions, or carrying them on their shoulders. And sometimes they just say, "I love you." Cartoon animals rendered in pencil and finished digitally live like humans in houses (and wear glasses and swimming caps), and kiss their babies goodnight after a hug and a story. Sweet and whimsical, this title is sure to become a popular bedtime request.—Jennifer Miskec, Longwood University, Farmville, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Wood produces a cozy, gently humorous title that features a multitude of cuddly father-and-child animal pairs showcasing the innumerable ways a dad can show his love. Ideal for the younger set at Valentine's Day, Father's Day or any day at all, this title states what most kids know: that "[w]hen a dad says ‘I love you,' he doesn't always say it in the plain old ordinary way." The extraordinary demonstrations of paternal love include actions that most children may take for granted. Making pancakes, "even if they're a little bit…crispy," racing around the yard, singing a song "for the three hundred and sixty-ninth time," inventing silly nicknames, giving bike-riding lessons, answering questions "that start with ‘Why,' " sharing magic tricks and reading a good story are just some of the many examples. Bell's digitally finished illustrations have a soft yet sketched quality that captures the warmth and fun as the creatures interact. The cast features bears, alligators, frogs, mice, zebras, foxes, pigs, cats and koalas, among others. In the end, as the youngster is being tucked in, the story circles back to the initial pair of bears. Here, "just to fool you, a dad might say… / ‘I love you.' In the plain old ordinary way." This would be equally successful sharing one on one or with a group and may also be an engaging conversation starter about how actions often speak louder than words. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689875328
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 4/16/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 368,182
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years
  • Lexile: AD660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Douglas Wood is the author of When a Dad Says “I Love You,” When a Grandpa Says “I Love You, The Secret of Saying Thanks, and A Quiet Place as well as the New York Times bestselling Can’t Do series. His books Old Turtle and Old Turtle and the Broken Truth were both international bestsellers. Additional titles include No One But You, illustrated by P.J. Lynch; Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed The World, illustrated by Barry Moser; and Where the Sunrise Begins, illustrated by K.Wendy Popp. Douglas lives in a cabin in the woods of Minnesota. A studied naturalist, he shares his knowledge of nature as a wilderness guide.

Jennifer A. Bell is an illustrator whose work can be found on greeting cards, in magazines, and in over a dozen children’s books. She lives with her husband, son, and cranky cat in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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