The Dressing-Up Dad
Who has not been embarrassed by their parents? The Dressing-Up Dad by Maudie Smith and Paul Howard introduces a dad who loves to dress up. His young son Danny and he dress up as a chicken, a rocket or a pirate and have a great time together. But Danny is getting older, and he starts to wonder if it wouldn’t be better to have an ordinary dad.
For Danny’s birthday party, Dad agrees to be perfectly ordinary. He does everything beautifully from welcoming the guests to cutting the cake. But he isn’t very happy. Danny invites him to go back to the way things were before and lets Dad express himself any way he wants.
The Dressing Up Dad presents interesting ideas, touching on difference and creativity, and casting the child in the role of the grown-up. Danny is the one who wanted Dad to change, and become something he wasn’t, and it is Danny also, who encourages Dad to dress up again and express himself – as a giant caterpillar, if you must know. The story romps along with lots of energy and the illustrations add sparkle and sometimes their own take on the story.
I think this would be a good conversation starter with children who are 5 or 6 and just beginning to take note of the ever-present peer group. Nice easy read with cheerful illustrations and gentle humour. I particularly liked the dog in the background, who also likes to dress up.