One Very Funny Bed-Time Struggle Before Breakfast

h1 April 18th, 2012 by jules


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Sheer and utter laziness is what I bring you today, dear Imps. Well, laziness of a sort. I have some illustrations to showcase today, but as for my thoughts on the book, I’m going to direct you to Betsy Bird’s recent review of the same title.

And that’s for several reasons: 1) I’m sleepy right now but really want to yawp about what a good book this is; 2) what a good book this is!; and 3) Betsy … well, shoot, y’all. She is such a detailed and thoughtful reviewer. (And her INTROS! The intros to her reviews, I always note, are so well-penned. That’s an art and a science right there, nailing an intro and snagging the reader. But I digress.) Once I read her review, I thought, hmmm…what she said. So, I’m going to just shoo you on over to her review — after you take in these spreads, that is.

The book in question? Coralie Saudo’s (also an illustrator) My Dad is Big and Strong, But… This is a French import, originally published in 2010 as Mon Papa, Il est Grand, Il est Fort, MAIS… As I’ve said before, thank goodness for Enchanted Lion Books and their eye on international titles. Translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick and illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo, this one is a true delight.

In this table-turner of a picture book, a father gives his young son the kind of hell … er, fuss that children like to give the parental units at bedtime. (Think: I’m scared of the dark; one more story, PLEASE; and can I sleep in here with you?) And it’s funny. (Dad all curled up under the covers, scared of the dark, still in his hat and tie? It’s a hoot, I say.) And, as Betsy writes, the art is oh-so European. Or at least you get the sense right off the bat that you’re likely not dealing with a picture book born in the States. Here’s part of what she writes:

“[T]here is…no doubt that it is one of the most charming and engaging picture books to hike down the pike in years. A story that upsets expectations but retains its heart, this is the perfect bedtime fare for any kiddo that rejects the very notion of going to sleep (and who has a sense of humor). … This book is a true original in the best sense. Consider it your own little secret weapon on the war on bedtime. A find.”

This one is enjoyable in many different directions: The writing is good, the translation reads seamlessly, and the illustrations are delightfully off-center. Again, here is Betsy’s review. And enjoy the rest of the art.


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MY DAD IS BIG AND STRONG, BUT… First American edition copyright © 2012 by Enchanted Lion Books. Text copyright © 2010 by Coralie Saudo. Illustration copyright © 2010 by Kris Di Giacomo. All images posted with permission of the publisher.

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2 comments to “One Very Funny Bed-Time Struggle Before Breakfast”

  1. I like that the pictorial essence of Dad-dom is a tie and a hat (even in bed.) AND in the top spread…there is that pencilly scribble in the middle, which is just the epitome of how that little boy must be feeling. Very cool. (And the conical dog’s funny too.)

    Hey jules & Betsy. You forgot “Interrupting Chicken” which definitely belongs in this group.


  2. Ooh, yes! Good point about Stein’s book!


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