Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

My Dad

Browne, Anthony (Author/Illustrator)
Macmillan 2010. 32 pages
First published: 2000
ISBN: 9780552560061 (paperback)
9780374351014 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, figurative language, point of view, recurring patterns

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Inspired by the author’s early loss of his own father, this beautiful and simple tribute to a dad through one little boy’s eyes, honours fathers everywhere. With plaid decorated endpapers, the father’s bathrobe is a key motif in the book, grounding this dad in the real and the human while using simile, hyperbole, affection and humour to elevate him.

Illustrations dominate here, showing the father in a series of larger than life scenarios while in his pyjamas, robe and slippers. He does extraordinary things – sends the Big Bad Wolf packing, balances as a tightrope walker on a clothesline, even wrestles a giant. The brightly coloured acrylics occasionally border on the surreal – showing the father with a horse’s head eating “like a horse” or with plaid patterned skin “swimming like a fish.”

Language is in the first person, told intimately and directly from the son’s point of view. It, too, alternates between the matter-of-fact and the larger than life. “He’s all right, my dad.” And later: “He’s as strong as a gorilla, and as happy as a hippopotamus.” The takeaway message comes loud and clear at the end: “I love my dad. And you know what? HE LOVES ME! (And he always will).”

A great text for modelling simile and exaggeration and for simply celebrating a father’s love.

  •  Share personal experiences of activities you like to do with your dad or another relative. Make text-to-self connections as you read.
  •  What role does repetition play in the illustrations and the words? Discuss the significance of these choices by the author/illustrator.
  •  How does the author use similes to describe the dad in the story? Write some similes about someone you care about.
  •  

    Compare the author's two books, My Mum and My Dad. In small teams, discuss how they are similar and different. Use a Venn diagram to show your findings.

  •  

    Create a class list of activities you and your classmates do with your dads.

  •  

    Notice the cover and end pages. As the book is read aloud, discuss how the illustrations help you understand the text.

  •  

    Decide who is speaking in this book (point of view). What recurrent patterns can you find in the text? Do the similes exist in French and/or in your mother tongue? What other English similes do you know?

  •  

    Use the story as a model for a booklet in the same style about your dad, mom or someone else you appreciate.

  •  

    Compare the author’s two books: My Mum and My Dad. In small teams, discuss how they are similar and different. Use a Venn diagram to show your findings.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being
  • My Mum (A. Browne) (Structures)