Reviews for My Dad Is Big and Strong, But... : A Bedtime Story

ForeWord Magazine Reviews 2012 - Summer Issue: June 1, 2012

"One more story pleeease, just one more!" begs the dad who won't go to sleep at bedtime. Told in first person by his exasperated son, and wonderfully inventive in both story and illustration technique, this reversal of fortunes will delight and amuse all young readers. Ages three and up.

© 2012 ForeWord Reviews. All Rights Reserved.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Fall
A little boy talks about the difficulty he has getting his father to sleep at night. The reversal of a familiar story line feels fresh as the narrator ascribes classic delay tactics to his "big and strong" dad. The sharp book design and unique line illustrations in a muted palette are as quirky as the story's distinctly childlike point of view.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 April #1
This French import by Saudo impresses with its comic take on the now-popular role-reversal of a child trying to get his parent to bed. The wry narrative tone of a smallish but still substantial boy always displayed in profile conveys the exasperation most parents experience. Dad, depicted in a proper hat and tie, declares, "I don't want to go to bed!" And so begins the convincing, debating, distracting and demanding--from both sides. As the tension escalates with stubborn refusals and increasingly silly behavior (dad in a handstand or swinging from the chandelier), the boy turns to "the story trick [that] works every time." Daddy wants another and another, "[b]ut enough is enough!" After a few more negotiations (tucking the fedora-clad Daddy in, firmly telling him he must sleep in his own bed) the recalcitrant oldster finally says, " ‘Good night,'…in a small, faraway voice." Dad may be "big / and strong, / but he's afraid of the dark." DiGiacomo's mixed-media illustrations in a bedtime palette of browns and grays lend an irresistible whimsy to this humorous if less-than-original tale. Young insomniacs will recognize themselves in the antics of the oversized dad and enjoy poring over the naively drawn details found on every page. With far more genuineness than Seriously, Just Go to Sleep, this is sure to be a hit with preschoolers. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 March #1

Dad swings from the chandelier, begs for another story, and asks to have the light left on in this extended comedy routine about a parent who won't go to bed, narrated by his reasonable, long-suffering son ("All right, Dad, but I'm not going to run after you. It's not time for games"). DiGiacomo keeps the mayhem in check with a palette of earth tones and dreamy charcoal outlines, dressing Dad appropriately for bad behavior in dorky plaid wool trousers and a black trilby hat--which he sometimes balances on one foot for variety. A good-humored hound plays sidekick (when Dad lies on the ground, the hound is right beside him, legs and ears splayed out flat), while tongue-in-cheek props--chairs with stick legs, a microscopic telephone--add yet more whimsy. Saudo's faux adult patter, translated persuasively by Bedrick, is dead on ("We said one story, and we've already read two. That's enough for tonight"). Go the F**k to Sleep tried to convey the difficulty of the bedtime routine for parents; this is more imaginative, and can actually be read aloud to children. Ages 3-8. (May)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 May

PreS-K--It's 9:00 p.m. But when Dad says, "I don't want to go to bed!" his young son tries reasoning with him--It's already quite late. You need to go to sleep in order to be in good shape for tomorrow"--and calming him down with a story, but Dad knows all the tricks to stay up late. He initiates a game of chase, begs for one more story, and leaves his bed to ask a question. Dad's procrastinating makes sense, at last, when it is revealed that he is afraid of the dark. The boy, who has been patient and loving throughout, has a solution that helps his father settle down. Shades of brown predominate in the quirky illustrations, which are a mix of photographs, line drawings, and cartoon sketches. At times, the type reinforces the characters' reversal of roles, with the father's words resembling a child's penmanship, while his son's are set in a bold, three-dimensional font. This picture book will work well as a silly bedtime story.--Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada

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