When precocious little Audrey announces to her dad that their house is getting too small for her, they set about looking for the perfect new space for her in their idyllic yard, which turns out to be high up on a tree!
Inspired by the author’s own experience with his daughter, this heartwarming wordless picture book centres on a little girl taking a stroll home with her father after a grocery run. But, despite walking side by side, what they each see and experience along the way cannot be more different.
Buckley and his mom live an ostensibly simple and idyllic life in a little wooden house by the sea. But, as we soon learn, the pair are actually bereft of a third and much-missed member of the family: Buckley’s Papa.
When a little girl offers to make her daddy a sandwich with all of his “favourite things”, things get a liiittle out of hand…
To one little boy, Fridays are extra-special because that’s when he and his dad go on their breakfast date, rain or shine. Every Friday thus invites us along on their weekly sojourn, which ostensibly involves nothing more than them taking a stroll to the corner diner for breakfast, but is really a composition of many smaller routines, like them leaving the house early, greeting familiar faces, peering into the same shop windows, dropping letters into the mailbox and simply enjoying their uninterrupted time and conversations together.
Thanks to Marvel and DC Comics for ‘spoiling the market’, expectations of heroes have never been higher. But what Batman, Spiderman, Ironman and all the other comic-book ‘superheroes’ have in common — other than superhuman abilities and a predilection for costumes — is that they are NOT dads.
If you ask me, putting in long hours at work and then summoning up reserve energy to horse around with the kids after a trying day, keeping a grouchy mother(-of-1/2/3/4/5, doesn’t matter – we all have our testy moments) happy, and being the default driver, handyman, porter and pest-control guy in the household, are all extraordinary abilities that are way more practical than, say, shooting webs out of wrists, or zipping from place to place at the speed of light and thus avoiding road taxes and traffic jams, and generally saving the world from catastrophes… Hmm. Well, let’s see if these guys can do the same with a couple of kids thrown into the picture, eh? But I digress.
Somehow, most moms gravitate towards the practical aspects of parenting, such as nutrition, clothing, hygiene, and instilling good manners, habits and discipline. While some fathers do take charge of such matters, most of the time, many dads don’t get enough credit for simply being, well, the fun, or more fun, parent — something that most of them, being somewhat overgrown kids themselves, naturally excel in.
The thing is, fun makes for great — beautiful even — memories, and that’s what daddies really do best: inject their special brand of levity and silliness into their children’s lives, and in the process teaching them that it’s OK not to take life too seriously.
Children have an inexhaustible capacity for play, and as such, parents can seem like spoilsports when they call an end to their fun at nap- or bedtime. In Hide-and-Squeak, however, Mouse Baby and his father have turned this familiar nightly, ahem, parental Cat-and-Mouse into a game of sorts where Mouse Baby leads his father on a merry chase through the garden and all around the (human-sized) house before he is ‘caught’ and tucked into bed.