Reviews for When Dads Don't Grow Up

Booklist Reviews 2012 March #2
"Some dads just never grow up. You can tell which ones they are." So begins this amusing picture book, written from a child's perspective. The narrative points out ways of identifying this distinct class of fathers. They're the ones who still enjoy comics and cartoons, who love to mix up bedtime stories, and who join their kids in playing sports outdoors--and indoors, too. And when that leads to broken lamps and holes in walls, they also know how to fix things. The simply written text sets the book's conversational tone and offers many examples of kidlike dads, while the ink, watercolor, and colored-pencil illustrations develop the theme with buoyant good humor and plenty of comic byplay. Alley's at his boisterous best here, creating a pleasing series of animated illustrations, from full-page scenes to amusing vignettes showing dads and kids in action. The multicultural cast includes both boys and girls enjoying quiet and noisy moments with their fathers. A beguiling look at playful fathers--and their children. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
"Dads who never grew up really remember...that basements can be scary...and that sitting still is almost impossible." The text of this chirpy valentine to fathers is accompanied by illustrations of four father-child pairs modeling childish behavior. This subject is utterly familiar and yet the presentation is full of surprises, such as when one dad loses his toupee.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 April #1
Here is an unabashed celebration of dads who enthusiastically embrace their inner children. The results are endearing, sometimes embarrassing but most often hilarious. Parker invites readers to witness the following silly behavior: "When dads don't grow up / they understand that shopping carts are for racing… / that clothes don't have to match… / and that pancakes weren't meant to be round." Alley uses pen and ink, watercolors and colored pencil to show an abundance of humorous details in a series of vignettes that greatly extend the text. A stern grocery-store manager glares at dad and daughter sitting in the wreckage of their shopping-cart race; a professorial dad lectures in a mad combination of stripes, argyle and plaid. Preschoolers will see themselves and, one hopes, their fathers in the madcap situations that populate this title. Whether finding fun in popping bubble wrap, throwing stones in water, playing sports indoors or "getting their hair wet (if they still have any)," the four ethnically and occupationally diverse dads--a florist, a doctor, a businessman and a construction worker--obviously relish these experiences as much as their children do. An ideal choice for sharing with preschoolers and anyone else who has a soft spot for lovable but goofy dads. (Picture book. 3-5) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 April #4

It's a lucky kid, writes Parker, who has a father who never grew up. These fathers understand how to have fun with their kids because they "remember what it's like to be little." They know that "pancakes weren't meant to be round," they "aren't worried about looking goofy," and "they love to mix up the words in bedtime stories." Alley fills his watercolors--which range from spot art to full spreads--with humorous details: one father throws a rock in a fountain, splashing a nearby woman, and another crashes a shopping cart into a shelf of cans. Parker lovingly portrays playful, imaginative, and inventive fathers who bring joie de vivre to parenting. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 March

K-Gr 2--Dads who remember what it's like to be a child know "that milk tastes better through a straw…that bubble wrap is for popping," and that "they love to mix up the words in bedtime stories." In this tribute to fun-loving fathers, Parker lists their many attributes--including an ability to appreciate the unexpected. Detailed cartoons in pen and ink, watercolor, and colored pencil reflect scenes that have plenty of appeal for children and adults alike. The large font and simple text point out the loving understanding that translates into a close relationship between child and parent. The most important word in the book and these dads' lives is highlighted in the largest font as the only text on a spread: "KIDS!" This title also shows different careers that fathers can have: florist, doctor, businessman, or construction worker. It creates easily identifiable images of parents and their children building memories. A surefire hit.--Mary Elam, Learning Media Services, Plano ISD, TX

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