My Dad is a Grizzly Bear by Swapna Haddow, illustrated by Dapo Adeola

My Dad is a Grizzly Bear by Swapna Haddow, illustrated by Dapo Adeola. Red Comet Press, 2022. 9781636550114

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover picture book

Genre:  Fantasy/humor

What did you like about the book? A kid likens his dad to a grizzly bear in this lighthearted picture book. All of his behaviors – growling when he chases the boy and his sister, eating all of the pancakes, napping all the time (even at the movies) – are clear indications that his dad is a grizzly bear. But when the family goes camping, and mom tells a scary story, dad is there to give “the biggest, warmest, best ever bear hug!”

Sweet, humorous cartoon art depicts a biracial family and a bigger than life dad with red fuzzy hair and a big beard who favors bright pajamas with orange slices on them that match his hair. Dad as a grizzly bear clearly delights (and occasionally embarrasses) the kids. There’s lots of love and humor when the family goes camping in the woods and survives mom’s ghost story. At the end, the little boy who narrates the story tells the reader that although dad is his favorite grizzly bear, “there are fiercer things than bears…wait until you hear my mom roar!” Kids will love this imaginative depiction of a loving family.

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book? Perfect for family read alouds, for ages 3-6. I suppose it could serve as a beginning example of metaphor as well.

Who should buy this book? Daycare centers and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: June 24, 2022

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