Editor’s Pick – Book Life Review of “Dad Is My Best Friend”

Angela is close to her mom and gets along well with kids on the playground, but, as the title suggests, it’s her dad who’s actually her best friend. In this heartwarming tribute to family bonds, inspired by the author’s relationship with her own father, readers follow Angela and her dad as they hang out and exercise together, riding bikes, running a race, and doing push-ups. Kavion Robinson’s warm, nostalgia-tinged illustrations convey the magic and power in simple, everyday opportunities for parents to connect with kids, and this story’s portrayal of a loving father-daughter attachment is sure to resonate with families.

Although readers only get to see Angela and her dad engaged in a short list of activities, the sense of camaraderie and affection is unmistakable—whether she is riding on his shoulders or celebrating the winner of their many races, Angela is always depicted with a smile during their time together, and young readers will certainly appreciate the opportunity to glimpse everyday parent-child moments rendered in such a positive light. Even the story’s extended push-up scene, where Angela climbs onto her father’s back and they count off push-ups together, gives kids and parents a chance to challenge themselves to try the same fun activity.

Kerice Robinson (I Am Full of Thanks) dedicates this story to her earliest memory of her father “working out by the front door” of their home, revealing the emotional basis for the exercise theme that Robinson employs to remind readers that making lasting memories is easy—and that bonding doesn’t have to involve an expensive outing, but can be as simple as riding a bike together. In a fast-paced world, everyone can use a reminder to slow down, and Dad Is My Best Friend’s inviting illustrations and emphasis on fleeting moments of connection is spot on.

Takeaway: This tender father-daughter story celebrates the power of simple connections.

Great for fans of: Gregory E. Lang’s Why a Daughter Needs a Dad, Sean Williams’s Girl Dad.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Print Date: 07/25/2022

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