Reading/Interest Level: Toddler, Preschool
Author: Dan Andreasen
Illustrator: Dan Andreasen
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
In this bright board book, a little elephant is so excited to spend Saturday with Daddy. He excitedly wakes up his parents, enjoys breakfast with them, and then drives off with Daddy to run some errands. At the market they buy some things for a cookout, and at the hardware store they buy a shiny red barbecue grill. The little elephant helps his dad put together the new grill, and soon the family has a fun a delicious cookout in their backyard, complete with roasting marshmallows, playing Frisbee, and resting together in a hammock. The young elephant concludes, “Saturday with Daddy is my best day of the week!”
Sturdy and small, this book is very easy to handle and read, especially for young readers. Bright pastel colors adorn the backgrounds of the pages, with clear text written across the tops and large illustrations spanning the rest of the space. The message is a fun and uplifting one, especially in the fact that it shows family bonding, especially father-child bonding. Though many readers probably won’t mind, the gender roles seem a bit stereotypical, with the father handling the grill and playing catch with the son, and the dressed-in-pink mother bringing out other homemade food. For new readers, this book has a nice combination of short, easy words and also longer, more difficult words that will introduce new vocabulary. Overall, this family-promoting book will be enjoyed just fine by young readers.