Ready, Set, Read!

The ABC's of being a children's Librarian

Book Review: How to Cheer Up Dad by Fred Koehler

on September 22, 2014
How to Cheer Up Dad by Fred Koehler
Find this book at your local library
Genre: Single parent, single dads, elephants, fathers and sons

Jumbo’s father is having a bad day. Although Jumbo seems to be at the root of the problems, he does his best to cheer up his dad by doing all of his dad’s favorite things.

This is really one of the sweetest books I have come across in a while. The illustrations are purely adorable, especially little Jumbo. Just look at that face on the cover. What I like best is the juxtoposition between illustrations and the text on each page. Although would be be something very short and vague, the illustration really showed how Jumbo was the troublemaker, acting in the ways that toddlers are want to do. Throwing raisins all over the floor instead of eating them, running around naked rather than letting dad get his dressed, etc.

Any parent will quickly associate with this book and any toddler will find Jumbo’s antics hilarious. What I particularly like about this book is that it is one of the few picture books that not only focuses on dad, but a single dad. A single dad, maybe a stay at home dad, is the one running around after Jumbo, feeding, clothing, bathing and putting him down to sleep for the night. These books are rare, so I want to highlight that. This is definitely something I would read during a baby/toddler storytime because I’m sure the fathers who attend would appreciate the recognition.

Primary Book Skills:

This book meets all the six book skills:

Love Books (Print Motivation): The story will entertain both children and adults.

Tells a Story (Narrative Skills): The simplicity of the drawings allow the child to find a different story within the story.

How to Use This Book:

For Parents

  • Talk to your child, have them discuss all the ways they are similar to Jumbo.
  • Point to the words on the page as you read, point out different objects on the page.
  • Talk about the action of the illustrations and how that compares to the text

For Librarians

Similar Books

     When the Elephant Walks by Kasza

© 2014 by Nari of Ready, Set, Read. All rights reserved. You can also follow me@TheNovelWorld or at my Tumblr.

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