Dustbin Dad is a hilarious cautionary tale (or, perhaps, tail) both for the kids who have a habit of not finishing the food on their plates, and for their parents who don’t like to see food go to waste and will thus dutifully eat up the leftovers. The eponymous dad in the book, however, goes a bit too far when he accidentally gobbles up an entire pot of medicinal brew meant for the family pet — needless to say, things soon get a little hairy for the family…
Most picture books for kids tend to give a rosy-lensed and idealised vision of parents. And while these are feel-good and sweet, and reassure the child of his/her parents’ love, we all know that as much as most parents strive to be ever chirpy, patient, encouraging, nurturing, loving, etc, there are just times when kids push all the wrong buttons and send us right over the edge, causing otherwise benevolent parents to do or say things that they don’t mean to and later regret.
Perfect parents and kids hardly ever exist in real life: there are good days and bad days. Thus it’s rare to find a book such as this that doesn’t try to patronise kids and their parents by whitewashing the reality that parents are only human — imperfect and flawed.
Pucca is a little penguin whose father owns a cup shop. When the demand for his cups falls, however, he has no choice but to pack them up and try to sell them in the next village while Pucca stays at home. The little penguin decides to help his father so that they won’t have to be separated, and hits upon the idea of making personalised cups in unusual shapes. Soon, everyone wants one of these special cups, and father and son are reunited.
My Dad is a wryly funny and heartwarming book that celebrates fathers with humorous text and illustrations. The sentences are short and use simple words — great for young toddlers. The Chinese version of this book (我爸爸) is also particularly well done.