Dadpalooza, written by Sarina Dickson and illustrated by Ant Sang
-Reviewed by Pippi Jean.
This book is an absolute gift. I can’t even express it! I’ve been singing along to the tune of Dadpalooza and its twin book, Mumpalooza, like it’s a new hit single from my favorite artist. “A gizmo dad/a sweet dad/a moves to his own beat dad.” Like, listen to that! Isn’t that a treat!
The illustrations are bright and poppy. They detail such an extraordinary, imaginative, and diverse range of dads (and their kids!), and I actually feel like I’m reading a Where’s Wally. Young, old, tall, short, brave, shy, sporty, bookish—and with a range of exquisite haircuts, this book has it all! Standouts to me are “a ‘call me when you need me’ dad” and “a sequined, sparkly queen dad.” Special mention also to “a ‘I am not too busy’ dad”. The text doesn’t necessarily align to each dad, so there is a search-and-find aspect to this book that makes you slow down and appreciate each aspect of the illustrations even more.
While bouncy, metred, and rhymed, the language is also so inclusive and so beautifully metaphoric in places
Calling it now, this book will one hundred percent become a classic. While bouncy, metred, and rhymed, the language is also so inclusive and so beautifully metaphoric in places. The quotes to describe dads are definitely my favorite thing ever—“A ‘you know I won’t forget’ dad” is the most precious phrase! “A ballet dad” and “a stepdad” are included with equal rhythm and weight. Each dad is unique and equally important! The fact that all the kids included look similar to their respective dads also makes my heart melt. Read this aloud to your kids, please. I love this book.
Pippi Jean is a student, bookseller and cool cloud enthusiast living in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara, and originally from Tāmaki Makaurau. She is a founding editor of new literary journal Symposia. She likes to write poetry about, you guessed it, clouds, and to commemorate really fun bike rides.
Sarina Dickson is a writer, artist and educator based in Christchurch, New Zealand.