When Dad Showed Me the Universe by Ulf Stark and Eva Eriksson

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When Dad Showed Me the Universe by Ulf Stark and Eva Eriksson

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Buy When Dad Showed Me the Universe by Ulf Stark and Eva Eriksson at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A whimsical instance of common wonder, in this warm and quite charming picture story.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: April 2015
Publisher: Gecko Press
ISBN: 9781927271810

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Dads are wonderful, aren't they? One minute they can be working as a dentist, the next they can be showing you the universe, and even tell you how cold it is. Mind you, mothers can be fabulous too, making sure you're going to be warm enough if you go out to see the universe. But dads are best – they even make sure you get chewing gum as provisions when you're exploring the universe. And what a universe it is – from what's right under your feet to what's right out in the furthest reaches of the night sky…

This book serves as a lesson in the ease and power of seeking and finding the wonderful in life. It has a simplicity to the story, and a punch-line I've alluded to in a way, but it boils down to the central thrust, that of not really knowing what you're looking at, and perhaps not even knowing where to look, but simply being open to the remarkable. Of course it concentrates on the astral, and we're told how cold outer space is, and we're alerted to the fact that some stars we can see might have already died out, their light not renewing itself since its departure en route to us, but it doesn't put any demands or restrictions on the lead child character, or on us, in our seeking the marvellous.

The illustrations have to be rated as highly as the charm of the tale, too, even if their like has been seen before. The tiny button eyes, large noses in a plain yet distinctive face and cartoonish poses look very familiar, but the warmth and character they add are quite timeless – and the careful visual editing of the publishers, translating the Scandinavian original from the late 1990s, means the words and signs in the landscapes are brought into our Anglophone world.

It's brief and to the point, but it's a great little book. With barely forty words a page, and great large images, it's one for sharing (which will help avoid the daddy, what does 'solemnly' mean? moment) – but it's heartwarming and important enough, and certainly well made enough, for it to also be for keeps.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

Tenuous link alert, but My Village: Rhymes from Around the World by Danielle Wright (editor) and Mique Moriuchi (illustrator) will make the reader wonder about the variety of us all on this little planet of ours, and all through a variety of nursery rhymes.

Buy When Dad Showed Me the Universe by Ulf Stark and Eva Eriksson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy When Dad Showed Me the Universe by Ulf Stark and Eva Eriksson at Amazon.co.uk


Buy When Dad Showed Me the Universe by Ulf Stark and Eva Eriksson at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy When Dad Showed Me the Universe by Ulf Stark and Eva Eriksson at Amazon.com.

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