cover image My Dad Is a Grizzly Bear

My Dad Is a Grizzly Bear

Swapna Haddow, illus. by Dapo Adeola. Red Comet, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-63655-011-4

A brown-skinned child narrator persuasively argues that “my dad is a grizzly bear” in this family-oriented picture book. The evidence appears overwhelming: Dad has fur that “scratches and scritches,” a taste for honey, and an aptitude for napping “anywhere, any place.” Portrayed as a beast in human clothing, Dad is pictured catching a fish in his mouth at the table (“Sometimes he catches fish in his teeth”) and climbing a tree to rescue a soccer ball (“Sometimes he climbs to the top of the tallest tree”). But the most important proof arrives during a family camping trip, when a scary story about a grizzly bear requires Dad (now depicted as pale-skinned and red-haired) to swoop in and comfort with “the biggest, warmest, best ever bear hug!” Appropriately contrasting with Haddow’s straight narration, Adeola’s digital illustrations of the interracial family interacting with their resident ursid ably play up the humor at the heart of this wild homage. Ages 4–8. (May)