Picture books honor generations of dads


I am not a fan of made-up holidays, especially the ones that require you to buy some kind of card. Call me crazy, but I prefer to honor people I love year-round rather than on one specific day. That said, it’s hard to avoid holidays. Below are to two fine options to celebrate the fathers in your life. One is a humorous look at how dads do things and the other is a touching look at old and new generations.

Gator Dad“GATOR DAD,” by Brian Lies, HMH Books for Young Readers, May 3, 2016, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 3 and up)

It’s a new day, and it’s time to get cracking at the alligator house. Dad rouses the troops, feeds them and sets out to accomplish errands before heading to the park. Together they go on adventures, build forts, travel to distant lands and change their identities.

The first thing I noticed about “Gator Dad” was the incredibly detailed acrylic illustrations. There’s a lot going on in each one, and you can spend plenty of time with those alone. But “Gator Dad” wouldn’t work if it were illustrations alone. The simple prose adds just the right amount of context, and its lyrical nature make it fun to read aloud. What’s most important here are the familial connections, which ring loud and true.


great-and-the-grand,-the“The Great and the Grand,” by Benjamin Fox and Elizabeth Robbins, Familius, Oct. 6, 2015, Hardcover, $16.96 (ages 6 and up)

The New is surrounded by things to touch; the Old by touching things. The New and Old are about to meet as the past and future collide.

“The Great and the Grand” looks at the beauty found in new discoveries and old memories as a new baby and old grandfather ready themselves for a first meeting. Benjamin Fox’s sparse, yet loving text builds the framework for Elizabeth Robbins’ beautiful paintings. The emotion in her illustrations jumps from the page.

“The Great and the Grand” is hopeful and nostalgic, making it a good gift choice for new grandfathers.

Great and Grand-

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About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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