in time for Father's Day, award-winning author Anthony Browne releases a humorous and loving tribute to fathers everywhere with his new title, My Dad. From playing soccer together to winning the father's race on sports day to sharing moments of laughter, this book is a rare peek into the joys of fatherhood and the impact dads can make on the growth and development of their children. An English native whose accolades include the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, two prestigious Kate Greenaway Medals (the UK's equivalent of our Caldecott Medal) and three Kurt Maschler Awards, Browne is an internationally acclaimed author and illustrator of more than 30 books, including Gorilla, Voices in the Park and the mega-popular series about Willy the chimp. Browne, a father of two children, had wanted to write a paternal laudation for quite some time. But it wasn't until he came across his late father's dressing gown that he was inspired to pen this touching homage. Browne's father passed away when the author was only 17 years old, but finding the plaid wrap brought back memories that had been tucked away for years. "Finding his old dressing gown gave me the freedom to create this book," says Browne. Throughout the colorful pages, we see the main character, a regular guy kind of dad, clad in the same brown plaid bathrobe that evoked so much childhood nostalgia for the author. Browne's signature surrealistic illustrations portray Dad, in his old, worn, musty robe, eating like a horse, swimming like a fish and singing brilliantly next to two very familiar-looking tenors. The story is told through the simple, yet embellished narration of a young boy who idolizes his father. "He's all right, my dad," says the narrator. And through these adoring eyes, we see what many children and grown-ups alike think of their fathers: They are as big as houses, soft as teddy bears and afraid of nothing not even the Big Bad Wolf! But the ultimate message of this book drives home an even more important point: Children love their dads and dads love their children. And regardless of how much either grows up, they always will.
Heidi Henneman is a freelance writer whose dad lives in Houston, Texas, and even though he doesn't wear a brown plaid bathrobe, she loves him very much and thinks he's "all right," too.