cover image My Dad Is Big and Strong, BUT...: A Bedtime Story

My Dad Is Big and Strong, BUT...: A Bedtime Story

Coralie Saudo, trans. from the French by Claudia Bedrick, illus. by Kris DiGiacomo. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59270-122-3

Dad swings from the chandelier, begs for another story, and asks to have the light left on in this extended comedy routine about a parent who won’t go to bed, narrated by his reasonable, long-suffering son (“All right, Dad, but I’m not going to run after you. It’s not time for games”). DiGiacomo keeps the mayhem in check with a palette of earth tones and dreamy charcoal outlines, dressing Dad appropriately for bad behavior in dorky plaid wool trousers and a black trilby hat—which he sometimes balances on one foot for variety. A good-humored hound plays sidekick (when Dad lies on the ground, the hound is right beside him, legs and ears splayed out flat), while tongue-in-cheek props—chairs with stick legs, a microscopic telephone—add yet more whimsy. Saudo’s faux adult patter, translated persuasively by Bedrick, is dead on (“We said one story, and we’ve already read two. That’s enough for tonight”). Go the F**k to Sleep tried to convey the difficulty of the bedtime routine for parents; this is more imaginative, and can actually be read aloud to children. Ages 3–8. (May)