My Dad is the Best Playground and Other Great Father’s Day Reads
Today, we are welcoming new author Luciana Navarro Powell to the blog to talk about her delightful new board book, My Dad is the Best Playground, plus other great Father’s Day reads. If you’re still hunting for the perfect Father’s Day gift for a special dad in your life, run out and get this sweet, colorful ode to playful fathers!
I have very fond memories of playing “airplane” with my dad when I was 5 or 6 years of age. It was a Sunday morning routine. My middle brother and I would run to my parent’s bed in the morning, and we would take turns on the “airplane”. He would place us belly down on his shins, lie on his back and hold our hands, our arms stretched open, then with a rolling motion we would “take off”, with sound effects and all. The inspiration for this story came from observing my husband roughhousing with my two sons, ages three and five. The spark that ignited the idea happened one night when I was tucking my sons into bed and my husband got home late from work. He was later than usual so he missed our bedtime routine, but he was still full of energy and eager to play with them. I remember thinking “Oh great, they are going to get all riled up again, here comes the playground!” As you know it’s hard work to get kids settled down and ready for bed, so I was a bit annoyed with this sudden burst of energy. However, I was still happy to see them play and have always been fascinated by how kids and their fathers play more physically and with more freedom than they do with us mothers- who are usually worried about someone getting hurt! So this book is a celebration of the unique father-child relationship as it relates to the playground experience, a constant in the lives of young families.
This is my very first book as an author; previously I had only illustrated books. The general idea bounced around my head for sometime, and then one day I sat down and wrote it in rhyming style – I felt that it was fitting to the spirit of the story though, adding to the fact that I love reading rhyming books to my kids. The attention spam of the very young readers is so short, you have to grab them right from the start! I also believe that keeping the word count low and letting the pictures tell the other half of the story always works best, even more for the youngest readers.
Some of my family’s favorite books featuring special dads that are perfect reading for Father’s Day are The Bear Scouts by Stan and Jan Berenstain (Berenstain Bears were my husband’s favorites growing up), Daddy Cuddles by Anne Gutman and George Hallensleben (the book I gave to my husband on his very first Father’s Day in 2007). New on our bookshelves but already a favorite is Grandpa Green by Lane Smith. Other favorites include My Father the Dog by Elizabeth Bluemle and illustrated by Randy Cecil, and the delightful Daddy Calls Me Doodlebug by J.D. Lester and illustrated by Hiroe Nakata. Happy Father’s Day reading!
If you would like to follow Luciana on the rest of her blog tour, please visit these sites:
6/10: Watch. Connect. Read
6/11: Home with the Boys
6/12: Nerdy Book Club
6/13: Ruth Ayres Writes
6/14: Book Faerie
And you can watch the adorable book trailer below!