Saturday, June 16, 2012
Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week, I'm going to review a cute little board book that's perfect to honor the dads in our lives.
This spirited story is vibrantly illustrated with colorful, energetic, and humorous artwork. Fathers and their children will love reading and rereading this glorious celebration of dads at their playful best. -- Robin Corey Books
MY DAD IS THE BEST PLAYGROUND by Luciana Navarro Powell is a very special little board book that most definitely touched me heart. Even thought my kids are long past the age for board books, I couldn't help but be reminded of my own children and husband as I read this story. The way the dad plays with his son and daughter is exactly the way my husband used to (and still occasionally does) play with our kids.
Basically, MY DAD IS THE BEST PLAYGROUND shows all of the different ways a dad can play with his children, and why his is even more fun than any playground. Through his hands-on approach to play, the dad swings the kids, turns his body into a climbing wall, and creates a tunnel (to name just a few), proving that's he better than any playground equipment. At the end of this quick little story, as the kids begin to tire, the dad gently takes them to bed making this book ideal for bedtime.
And as cute as the story was in MY DAD IS THE BEST PLAYGROUND, I thought the illustrations were even more adorable. They are full of bright colors and even a little silly, and they are the perfect complement to this fun story.
I was fortunate enough to ask Ms. Powell about the inspiration for her book, and here is what she said:
The inspiration for this story came from observing my 3 boys - a 3 year-old, a 5 year-old, and a 40 year-old! - playing and roughhousing. The spark that ignited the idea happened one night when I was tucking my sons into bed and my husband got home late from work. He was later than usual so he missed our bedtime routine, but he was still full of energy and eager to play with them. I remember thinking "oh great, they are going to get all riled up again, here comes the playground!" As you know it's hard work to get kids settled down and ready for bed, so I was a bit annoyed with this sudden burst of energy. However, I was still happy to see them play and have always been fascinated by how kids and their fathers play more physically and with more freedom than they do with us mothers- who are usually worried about someone getting hurt! Every single scene in the book has happened in real life in my house, my brave husband has even been the bouncy trampoline! So this book is a celebration of the unique father-child relationship as it relates to the playground experience, a constant in the lives of young families. I am also fascinated by how children can go to the same playground a thousand times and they still manage to have fun as if it was the very first time they were there - because their imagination is so rich, every ride can be something different and render itself for a different kind of play each time they go. I tried to convey the energy and warmth of the character's play time with a simple watercolor style, using primary colors as we usually see in a real playground. Happy Father's Day!
Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book and to the author for writing such a great guest post.
If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too! Giveaway alert: Thanks to the publisher, I have a copy of MY DAD IS THE BEST PLAYGROUND to share with one lucky reader. To enter, just fill out the form below before June 29th at 11:59 p.m. ET. I will randomly select and notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. addresses only. Good luck!