Brainy Parenting

As a Fathers’ Day treat, we enjoyed a couple of ‘daddy-themed’ picture books as a trio – Papa Penguin, by Lindsay Camp and Momoko Abe followed by Daddy, Don’t Let Go by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross.

Papa Penguin opens with a young boy, Sam, going to bed disappointed that his dad hasn’t arrived home in time for a bedtime story. Fortunately, footsteps come pounding up the stairs just as Sam gets into bed and dad begins a story about a penguin. Sam is used to superheroes and fantasy but what he gets here is a real-life super story of the endurance of the emperor penguin as Papa Penguin cares for his egg through a hungry, dark, cold Antarctic winter.

This is a lovely read, peppered with factual information (and a fantastic final double page of non-fiction) and accompanied by illustrations which flit between quirky realism and funny fantasy – there are aliens and handbags amongst the huddles and hardship! Both boys definitely enjoyed this one – T told me, “I really like learning new things,” and L said, “I liked the counting at the end.”

We then read Daddy Don’t Let Go which tells the story of a young girl learning to ride her bike with some help from her daddy. This story is told in a gentle rhyme, with clever switches in narration between the girl and her father. Full of emotion for both child and adult readers, the accompanying illustrations are trademark Tony Ross. T told me, “I liked remembering when I learned to ride my bike.”

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