Title: TAD and DAD
Author & Illustrator: David Ezra Stein
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books, 2015
Themes: Father/son relationships, frogs & tadpoles, sleeping
My dad has big, buggy eyes, strong legs, and a huge mouth.
Tad wants to do everything with Dad, which means that Dad can’t catch a moment’s peace. Even when it’s time to go to sleep, Tad has a habit of making a big splash when poor old Dad is just trying to nod off. Too much wiggling, croaking, and kicking in his sleep means their lily pad starts feeling mighty crowded! But when Tad actually swims off and lets Dad have some peace and quiet, Dad misses all his splashing around.
Why I like this book:
Stein makes these amphibians so expressive and the story is full of boisterous text and art. That first full spread where the father burps is cute: the contrast of the big frog and tiny tadpole; the dad’s bug-eyed look combined with Tad’s expression of doting admiration. The soft pond pink and green color scheme works well for the humor too.
The facial expressions are hilarious. Dad grows cranky and Stein’s illustrations are fun and funny. Just by changing the dad’s eyes Stein expresses the exhaustion known to all parents of toddlers. The combination of the thick lines and layers of watercolor work well for this pond “I wanna be like Dad” tale. Stein’s reflection on the art for this book is also interesting, “To make the final art for this book, the artist first copied Crayola-marker line drawings onto watercolor paper. Watercolor was added using a single, large, round brush, building up many layers of transparent color. Care was taken to encourage and preserve happy accidents. Crayon was added as an accent.”
It’s a feel good story where we are happy that Dad needs Tad as much as Tad needs Dad.
Definitely could discuss the growth cycle of a tadpole to frog.
Most tadpoles hatch in early May and into June.
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.