Friday, March 1, 2013

6 Heart Review and Giveaway: What Daddy Did Today by Walter Wally

What Daddy Did Today
Written by Walter Wally
Illustrated by Judith Bicking

Page Count: 28

Release Date: 20 November 2012
Publisher: Two Harbors Press
Genre: Children's, Bedtime Stories for Ages 3-7
Source: Complimentary PDF copy provided by JKS Communications, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!)
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

What does Daddy do when he leaves the house each morning? You might be surprised!

What Daddy Did Today: A Father's Bedtime Story is Daddy's chance to tell his child about all of the amazing things he does while he is away at work. But amidst the heart-pounding excitement, which includes wrestling a dragon, and traveling to outer space in a hot air balloon, Daddy has only one thing on his mind: getting back home to his child.

Review


Composed of simple, rhythmic poetry terrific for reading aloud and bold illustrations that will delight young budding readers, What Daddy Did Today is a bedtime story for fathers to share with their kids. Don't little girls and boys wonder what Daddy does while he's at work—what he does when he's not by their sides? This sweet story takes them on a wild, imaginative journey speculating the possibilities of what Daddy's day looks like, but in the end reveals the only thing that matters: the love every father feels for his child.

I love the concept of this book. Most children are aware of what their fathers do for a living, but not exactly of what their work consists of, and certainly not why work would be so important that it keeps them away for the entire day. This book isn't an hour-by-hour agenda of what fathers do on a daily basis; it's a colorful, exciting tale that glorifies the diligence and determination of working parents. It will help children understand the extent of a father's love while simultaneously giving them a fun visual that helps them forget the tedious hours of waiting for Dad to get home.

The adventure is fun, the plot consistent, and the ending satisfying, making What Daddy Did Today a thoughtful, livening children's story. However, I can't say it is necessarily the perfect bedtime story, because of two reasons:

First, the illustrations are a bit off. They're obviously digitally drawn, so they're slightly mechanical in form, and the colors have no texture. They seem unprofessional for a children's book and are an amateur attempt at realism. While I love the vibrant colors and the cute animals/rainbows/stars, I just don't find them attractive. Not that children will complain, per say, but as a reader, this is just something that caught my eye.

Second, I find the theme rather outdated. For me, as a child, the question was never What did Daddy do today? but rather, What did Daddy and Mommy do today? Both my parents worked (and still do!), so I guess I never really was ever kept in the dark on just one parent. I understand there are households in which just the father works, so I'm not trying to trivialize, but what about the rest of them? What about families in which the mothers are the breadwinners, families that don't have fathers, families of raging feminists? This book is good for the soul, but bad for today's gender role issues. Again, this prominent conventionalism is not something a child with a homemaker mother and working father would EVER notice, but just a heads-up: the message, while tender, is not universal.

Pros


Child-friendly verses and storyline // Imaginative // Very little text, facilitating reading aloud // Great for connecting kids with their dads // Colorful, vivid full-page illustrations // Heartwarming message

Cons


Awkward illustrations // Rhyme scheme is too forced // A little démodé—negative in implications for modern gender roles, unemployed fathers, self-employed fathers, working mothers, single parents, etc.

Verdict


While the stiff pictures and yesterday's gender roles do irritate me a bit, What Daddy Did Today compensates with an action-packed, whimsical storyline that gives youngsters perspective on a father's duty to work, as well as his elemental love. A great read-aloud bedtime book, Walter Wally's debut is likely to fuel imaginations and delight. Recommended for children ages 3-7
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6 hearts: Satisfying for a first read, but I'm not going back (x)


Giveaway!

Thanks to JKS Communications, there is your choice of one hardcover OR PDF copy of What Daddy Did Today up for grabs—a great read for your kids, or to give as a gift! To enter, comment on my review telling me your all-time favorite bedtime story. Mine would be Love You Forever by Robert Munsch—my god, the memories that one brings back!

What's yours?

As always, I will award extra entries to those who follow/subscribe... y'all know the drill! Be sure to fill out the Rafflecopter form to keep track of your entries:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rules and Disclosure:
Giveaway ends March 16th at 11.59 (your time).
Open internationally! Woohooo! However, only US residents are eligible for the print copy. Winners outside the US will receive a PDF file.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prizes will be forfeited.
Although I will be selecting winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ Plus, you get extra entries ;)
Good luck!