REVIEW: ‘Fly-In, Fly-Out Dad’ by Sally Murphy & Janine Dawson

Published: 1st July 2015

Publisher: Five Mile Press (part of Bonnier Publishing Group)

Pages: 29

Format: Hardback Picture Book

RRP: $16.95

5/5 Stars

My dad works up North, so most of the time it’s just me and Mum and Lexie at our house.
But when Dad comes home things get pretty interesting…

Australia is a vast land and some workers must travel thousands of miles to do their job. These people have become known as the ‘Fly In, Fly Out’ workers, with most staying on-site for weeks at a time, then flying back to their families and loved ones to spend quality time at home.

Written by award-winning author Sally Murphy, this book gives us an insight into one family with a Fly In, Fly Out Dad set against a backdrop of the Western Australian mining region.

A book that celebrates the superhero in every father.

 

When he comes home, Dad smells like dust and diesel and machines.

That’s my FLY-IN Dad.

He smells funny but I still love him.
He gathers us close, me and Mum and Lexie, and says how
much he’s missed us and how he’s glad to be home.
Maybe this time he’ll stay.

Fly-In FLy-Out Dad by Sally Murphy (Author) and Janine Daweson (Illustrator) is perhaps one of my favourite books out this year for Fathers Day 2015. It’s a short and simply book about a young boy whose father works in the mines, “When he comes home, Dad smells like dust and diesel and machines“, and how much this boy both admires, loves and misses his father when he is away for work for long periods of time.

When he comes home, Dad smells like dust and diesel and machines.

That’s my FLY-IN Dad.

He smells funny but I still love him.
He gathers us close, me and Mum and Lexie, and says how
much he’s missed us and how he’s glad to be home.
Maybe this time he’ll stay.

It’s told through the eyes of a young child who absolutely idolises his Dad and misses him terribly when he is away. Through his narration we learn all about the type of jobs and almost superhero like stories that Dad gets up to when he is away working e.g. driving the huge mine trucks and machines, the strange foods, the donga he calls home and what he gets up to with his friends while away. The notion of Dad as a superhero is further enforced by the mine clothing morphing into a Super Dad Suit style in the same fashion of Superman. Given how foreign and otherworldly the world of the mines is to this child, it’s no wonder that he has superimposes his Dad as a superhero in his imagination.

The book itself features stunning full double page illustrations with easily recognisable Australian features and landscapes – Qantas Planes, outback Australia, mine safety gear etc … – that bring the story to life just the little bit more. Janine Dawson has done an amazing job illustrating this book with its bright colours and easily accessibly drawings that feel larger than life in so many ways.

Primarily this children’s picture book is aimed at children whose father who are FIFO workers, particulars those working in mines throughout Australia. It deals with the separation the family undergoes for periods of a time as Dad is away for work and what the family reunion and couple of weeks home is like. As a child in the 90s I went through a lot of what this family did as my Dad worked (and still does) in the mines himself and much of what is experienced and represented here are things I can easily relate too.

Sally Murphy is an Australian author from Western Australia and has written over 30 books for children.

To learn more about the authors and Illustrators or the book, visit the following websites:

Five Mile Press Website | Sally Murphy Website | Janine Dawson Website |

To purchase a copy of Fly-In Fly-Out Dad visit the following retailers

Five Mile Press | Booktopia | Ebay AU | Boffins Bookshop |

 

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