A TIMELY and positive recent review of Sam and his Dad in the Melbourne Age newspaper (13/8/11). Lorien Kaye writes:
With an inky illustrative style almost reminiscent at times of Quentin Blake, but with a gentler air, Sam and His Dad is a portrait of fatherly and filial love. It avoids sentimentalism with its wit and veracity. First published in France in 2009, it has been produced here as a stylish hardback.
Sam and his father hang out at home, creating monsters and playing make-believe, and walk through the city streets as Sam jumps in puddles. They play at the park, where Sam chases the pigeons, and go on a family holiday. Mum is given some airtime … and there’s a younger brother, too, but it’s all about one boy and his dad.
Sam’s dad is an illustrator, so there is obviously an element of the autobiographical here. Maybe there is a little idealisation sometimes, too, in the unbounded admiration Sam has for his dad but there is a stronger streak of authenticity throughout.
The text is staccato rather than flowing, perhaps because of the translation, perhaps as a deliberate style [deliberate—WF], but there is ample pleasure to be found in the illustrations. It is here that we get the nuances of the father-son relationship. It is also where we find the humour of everyday life with kids, as Sam’s parents have to step over the corral of animals assembled by a small boy, or lie precariously at either edge of a large bed while their children sleep contentedly in the middle. Both children and adults will find much to recognise and enjoy.
Coincidentally (just in case you hadn’t noticed), it’s Father’s Day this weekend! If you know a Dad with young kids, this one’s perfect. Why not order it from your local bookstore or from the SPUNC online store now?