Tuesday, May 28, 2024
HomeCultureBooksThis Is My Dad

This Is My Dad

This Is My Dad
Author: Dimity Powell
Illustrator: Nicky Johnston
EK Books, $24.99

Recently, a friend of mine had to do a week-long stint of single parenting, and she confessed it was intimidating.

“My feeling is that all single parents should be given parades and trophies and free childcare.”

The Mum in This Is My Dad is a single parent and children’s author. She has her hands full but she is powering through. Her son, Leo, admires her and clearly feels loved. He’s never known his Dad – so when his teacher asks his class to do Show and Tell about their dads, his heart sinks. Who can he bring to introduce?

More than 10 per cent of households in Australia comprise of a single or primary parent and of those single parents 82 per cent are female.

Author Dimity Powell was only vaguely aware of these statistics when prompted by a proactive teacher-librarian during a Book Week visit to her school.

“She [the teacher-librarian] highlighted a notable absence of mainstream picture books featuring children who had never known a ‘father figure’ and or had no significant male model in their lives,” Powell says.

“To furnish school libraries and homes with a story that embraced this theme was an idea I simply couldn’t let evaporate.”

The result is This Is My Dad, a whimsically wonderful tale, which celebrates families of all shapes and sizes and shows that where love and openness propels and supports family relationships, children will find a way to embrace and tell their family stories.

For Leo, this firstly involves searching for a way to know his Dad. But when he can find no trace of him he realises who he can introduce to his class – and he does so very proudly.

Illustrator Nicky Johnston lived the first seven years of her life in a single parent family and brought this experience to her energetic but soothingly soft illustrations (the gentle approach well-suited to the sensitivity of the topic).

“I know firsthand how the role of both parents can sometimes fall onto one,” Johnston says. “I delved into my own memories and feelings when illustrating this book. I wanted the pride of Leo (at the end of the book) to be visible and understood by all single parents who may feel they are not enough.

“Kids aren’t great at communicating this until they’re much older and, as a kid, all they need is to be loved, cherished and supported, by whoever they have in their world.”

This Is My Dad might well fill a gap in your home or school library. It’s not a trophy – but it is a tribute – and one that should help children and parents value the prize that is their version of family.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -spot_img
- Advertisment -spot_img

Seen on the Green

Gumeroy was born in Moree, near the Mehi River. He had a “typical country upbringing” which included hunting, fishing, and sports.

Redfern Community Centre – celebrating 20 years

REDFERN: The 20th anniversary of RCC was celebrated on April 20, 2024, with Councillors (Waskam) Emelda Davis and HY William Chan being joined by Aunty Beryl Van-Oploo for the cutting of the cake.

Native Foodways – ‘Baking is one part of what we do’

Native Foodways is a First Nations owned and led social enterprise partnering with people from communities across Australia.

Can the Waterloo South People and Place Plan deliver?

Homes NSW Portfolio (formerly LAHC) has placed its Draft People and Place Plan on its Waterloo South site for comment until the end of May.

Why we love our pets

We all know that pets play an important role in our lives and we love them for many reasons. They are companions, supporters, don’t judge us and are loyal.

Living with dementia – a carer’s journey: 4. Progression

A year after the dementia diagnosis, Stuart was reasonably stable, but his cognition and memory started to deteriorate. He wasn’t able to put the rubbish in the colour coded bins, flooded the bathroom by leaving the tap on, misplaced house keys.