Author/Illustrator: Klaas Verplancke
Publisher: Groundwood Books, 2010, English translation 2012
Age Level: 2-5
Themes: parent-child relationship, love, anger, fear
Opening: My Daddy has smooth cheeks and an apple in his throat. He sounds like a mom when he sings in the bath.
Summary:(from the publisher) Johnny’s daddy has smooth cheeks, an apple in his throat and sounds like a mom when he sings in the bath. At other times a cactus grows out of his chin and his breath smells like cauliflower. At times he has warm hands and his fingers taste like applesauce. Other times his hands are cold and flash like lightning, and he becomes a thunder-daddy. When this happens Johnny wants to find a new daddy, but he eventually realizes that thunder-daddies don’t last forever. And that there’s nothing like the comfort that comes from those we love.
Why I like this book: This book addresses the fear a child has when a beloved parent gets angry, which we all know NEVER happens! Ahem. And that finding the way back to the parent they love can be difficult. It’s always clearer seen from the outside: the reaction of the child in the book reminded me a similar scene in our family when a grandparent had a strong reaction to some not-so-good table manners of one of my children – I think this would have been a great book to have had to share back then! The illustrations are hands-down FANTASTIC!
Resources/Activities: this book could easily spark discussions about anger issues; might be a good addition to a counselor’s office. Make applesauce!
For more PPBF picks, go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog – HERE