Reviews for When a Dad Says "I Love You"

Booklist Reviews 2013 April #2
Using a variety of shared experiences and cute animal characters, Wood (Old Turtle and the Broken Truth, 2003) shows how dads communicate love beyond words. Spanning morning to evening, the scenarios in the picture book include playful times (a game of "here-comes-the-tickle-bug!") and reading times ("reading you your favorite story, / with voices for all the characters. / Again. / And again") and singing times ("‘You Are My Sunshine' for the three hundred and sixty-ninth time in one day"). All ends sweetly as daddy bear tucks his little one into bed and expresses his love "in the plain old ordinary way," which is by simply saying, "I love you." Charming color illustrations with cartoonish, evocative, and whimsical touches portray anthropomorphized rabbits, pigs, elephants, and more enjoying familiar activities, including a pancake breakfast and kite flying. This affectionate portrayal of dad-child relationships depicts how everyday moments and one-on-one time can be special. Great for bedtime sharing. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
"When a dad says 'I love you,' he doesn't always say it in the plain old ordinary way." This amiable book lists what fathers do to demonstrate their love for their children. The pencil and digitally finished illustrations show a variety of doting animal dads spending time with their youngsters--making pancakes, answering questions, and gamely singing the same song over and over.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #1
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) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 April #3

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.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2014 January

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

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