Pat Possum and his friend Wesley Wombat are looking for Pat’s Dad.
‘Let’s go and find my Dad to see what he’s doing.
So begins a search for Pat’s Dad. Each opening offers a potential Dad-find, and they do find him but he’s always busy. Lifting flaps on each opening reveal Dad making lunch, sweeping floors, feeding a younger sibling. Then when the jobs are done, Dad has time to play footy. Warm pencil/watercolour illustrations are set in white space. The illustrations have their own humour, revealing Dad’s particular way of doing the jobs. There are also insects to find and identify. Final openings feature images and photos and information about the ring-tail possum on which this story is based.
This new lift-the-flap title from NLA offers an introduction to one of our native animals. The story sets the native animals as young children in a suburban house, during the course of a typical day. The parents share the parenting and household tasks. Pat and his friend Wesley play independently quite happily but are also keen to play with Dad. The lift-the-flap story introduces the notion of fathers being involved in childrearing and the final openings offer factual information. This is a sturdy paperback, ideal for pre-schoolers.
What’s Dad Doing? Susan Hall Cheryl Westenberg NLA Publishing 2013 ISBN 97890642277916
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author and bookseller