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My Daddy and Me


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About the Author

Jerry Spinelli is the author of many books for young readers, including Maniac Magee, winner of the Newbery Medal; Wringer, winner of a Newbery Honor Award, Stargirl, An ALA Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults; Loser; Crash; and Knots in My Yo-yo String, his autobiography.

Seymour Chwast is a renowned graphic artist and illustrator, cofounder of the Pushpin Studios, and a member of the Art Directors Hall of Fame.


"I can't wait for my daddy to come home from work. There are so many things to do!" begins Spinelli's (Stargirl) pleasing enumeration of all the father-son possibilities to be explored between father's return and bedtime. Chwast (Ode to Humpty Dumpty) here departs from his usual fine black line and evenly applied saturated colors in favor of thick brushstrokes that convey the playfulness of the text. In the opening shot, readers view a forlorn cream-colored puppy with floppy brown ears and markings around the eyes sitting patiently by the window, holding a red truck. But once united with Daddy (who looks like a giant-sized version of his offspring), the canine narrator grows exuberant. " `Hey!' [Daddy] calls to [neighbor] Mrs. Jones/ `Who's this cowpoke riding me?' " Only the pup's hind paws hold onto his father's neck as he raises his front paws in the air like a cheerleader. In other spreads, father lets son get behind the wheel to drive to Kalamazoo ("right there in the driveway"), wrestle on the rug and bake gingerbread cookies. The scenarios may not be new, but the warmth emanating from parent and child is comfortingly universal. In Spinelli's soothing closing scene, father serenades son ("Never, ever is my daddy too tired to sing me a lullaby when it's time for bed") and Chwast gets all the details right: the pup is tucked in, the moon shows outside the window, and a glass of water sits on the nightstand (next to a lamp with a cat-patterned shade). Ages 3-6. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

PreS-Gr 2-Spinelli's first picture book tells a simple, warm story of the activities shared between a canine and his offspring. The tale opens with the pup anxiously awaiting his father's return from work and anticipating all the things they'll do together. When Daddy arrives, briefcase in hand and newspaper under arm, he swings his son onto his shoulders, and then lets him pretend to drive the car to Kalamazoo, right there in the driveway. The two wrestle on the living room floor, make cookies, plant tomatoes, and work around the house. And at the end of the day, no matter how worn out Daddy is, he's never too tired to sing the youngster a lullaby. This father is just about as close to perfect as a child could imagine. The childlike art and the bright palette make the yard and house seem quite homey, with squares, stripes, and checkerboard motifs on furnishings and walls lending textural detail to the large paintings. An appealing read-aloud.-Leslie Barban, Richland County Public Library, Columbia, SC Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

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