This is My Daddy!
“Who is my Daddy?” asks a prickly baby animal. Is it the porcupine? The dust bunny? Could it be the cactus? No! It’s the father hedgehog, of course, cuddling his baby to sleep.
With This is My Daddy!, acclaimed author-illustrator Mies van Hout gives young readers a fun and often funny challenge: correctly choose a baby animal’s father from among four candidates, rendered in striking portraits. The vibrant cast includes busy beavers, slippery snails, roaming rhinos, and more.
A clever twist on babies-and-parents books, This is My Daddy! will mesmerize little ones with the details of its vivid artwork. Then, just when the complacent reader has the pattern all figured out, story time wraps up with a side-splitting surprise.
What I loved: This book manages to be both simple and complex. It has a sort of matching and memory game to it with the four tiles and it is interesting to see how such different animals can have features in common. For example, the hedgehog also shows pictures of a porcupine, prickly sea urchin, and a cactus. The book also includes some complicated pairs, like tadpoles and frogs and caterpillars and butterflies, perhaps pointing out that children do not always look like their parents. The illustrations are not always clear as to the type of animal, but this works for children who like playing matching to guess who the father of each animal is.
This is an easy read with only those two phrases repeated throughout. I really liked the use of thicker paper on this book that makes it in between a board and picture book, so great for young toddlers to work on turning the pages and playing with.
What left me wanting more: As a very small point, some of the illustrations are a bit hard to identify, as it was not totally clear which animal they were meant to be. However, they are very cool to look at and have a fun artistic style, so it was not a big deal.
Final verdict: A fun picture book that explores father-child pairs all around us, THIS IS MY DADDY! is a silly and delightful book to share with a little one. Elements of memory and matching skills will be lightly explored at a level appropriate for the young audience.