This book stands out from other father’s titles for me. Sam and his Dad is a warm, beautiful and gently humorous story about a dad’s place in the family.
The story is not gimmicky and doesn’t revolve around a list of what makes dads fun, but instead provides a sincere and honest snapshot of family life and the father’s comforting presence.
This is a story of Sam who, on the very first page of the book, tells the reader, “When I grow up, I want to be just like my dad!” It really sets the scene for the book and how, as the reader, we perceive the father.
Sam shares tidbits of his family’s life: the way his brother takes his spot in their parent’s bed; that he enjoys listening to the stories that his Grandma records for him and that his mum still makes him bottles even though he is too big for them.
Most of the anecdotes he shares however, are about his dad. It’s the small, everyday things that make his dad so lovable. Sam’s dad is a professional illustrator, but he takes the time to draw for his son. He doesn’t like being called ‘Big Daddy’, but loves dressing up and sharing stories with Sam. When everyone is ready to play, dad falls asleep. But he always seems to be there when Sam needs him.
Of particular note for me is the presence of the father. He is a part of this family in a very real, supportive sense. He is a wonderful role-model, for his family and for the reader, who challenges gender roles. You see him reading, playing and doing the shopping.
This French classic, published for the first time in English by Wilkins Farago, is bound in a sophisticated, beige cloth cover. The illustrations are ink-line style sketches, but full of colour (not dissimilar to the style of Quentin Blake). I believe these features, along with the storyline, help to make this a timeless story that can be shared between generations.
I would like to thank Wilkins Farago for a review copy of Sam and His Dad. I also felt a desire to pass this book onto my brother who has a son. I feel strongly that this is a particularly special book for a father to share with his son because it is strong, yet sentimental.
Title: Sam and His Dad
Author/Illustrator: Serge Bloch
Publisher: Wilkins Farago Pty Ltd,
For ages: 4+
RRP: $27.99 (aud)