22 September 2010

My Dad Thinks He’s Funny

by Katrina Germein, illustrated by Tom Jellett

black dog books. Australian, Picture Book. Hardback, rrp $24.99

Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

My Dad Thinks He’s Funny is a hilarious and very Australian picture book which both adults and children will relate too. Indeed, I think Katrina Germein must have been a fly on the wall at some of my family’s gatherings. Our particular family favourite is the first joke: ‘Whenever I say, “I’m hungry", Dad says, “Hello, Hungry. Pleased to meet you.”’ Not only does my father respond in this fashion to comments or questions from the kids, so does my uncle, sister, husband and brother-in-law. All of my children (ages 9-16) laughed out loud at every new joke and this book has not been allowed to stay on the shelf for any length of time.

The joking and wise cracking between father and son (sometimes drawing in Mum as well) underlines the loving family relationship whereby everyone is at ease with each other. No one takes offence and the banter is part of life even if the boy gives the occasional eye roll at his dad’s cheesy replies!
Tom Jellett’s illustrations are innovative and eye-catching. Page backgrounds range from corrugated iron to graph paper and the illustrations themselves are bold with generous use of crayon, collage and strong colours. In typical Jellett style, the facial expressions of father, son and mother are simple but brilliantly drawn.

My Dad Thinks He’s Funny will be a firm family favourite; one that children will enjoy reading themselves and one which adults will never tire of reading to children.


Vicki Stanton is the editor and publisher of Buzz Words, an e-zine for people writing and illustrating books for children. http://www.buzzwordsmagazine.com/

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