Published: 29th July 2015
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Format: Hard-cover Children’s Picture Book
‘Come on, Daddy, it’s time for bed.’
‘But I’m not tired,’ says Daddy.
How can a little girl put her daddy to bed when he doesn’t want to go? In every household with children, from the moment that bedtime is announced until the light is finally switched off, bedtime is full of fun and frustration, puns and procrastination. From getting in the bath and putting on PJs to brushing teeth and reading a story, Time for Bed, Daddy flips the fun on bedtime, celebrating the special relationship that fathers share with their children.
I really enjoyed this picture book for another of reasons. The first being the obvious role reversal that just highlights the special relationship kids have with their fathers.Unlike most nights where it would be the child saying their not tired and fighting bedtime, it’s the main characters Father in this book who won’t go to bed and uses every excuse under the sun to stay up a bit longer. Not fooled in the slightest and unsatisfied with his reasoning, his daughter walks him through the night-time routine of brushing his teeth,going to the toilet, having a shower and putting on his pj’s, monster checks and getting into bed before a bedtime story is read. It’s simplistic and quirky and it just works because its something so relate-able. Every child has said their not tried at some stage and used every conceivable trick in the book to try and stay up later or prolong the night-time ritual. And every parent has experienced and dealt with it.
My second reasoning for loving this book, is that fact that the child in this book is a young girl. Traditional gender roles place Mother’s day books with Mums and their daughters and Father’s day books with Fathers and their sons and this book turns that too on its head. I know there’s probably more than one out there, but as one of four daughters and no sons in my immediate family, it seems like ALL the father’s day books focus on a father and son relationship doing ‘manly/boyish’ things. For this reason alone, I loved this book for breaking down that barrier. After all, a father is a daughter’s first love.
Finally the bright, basic and almost cartoon-ish illustrations with bold black lines really bring the reader straight into the story and are easily accessible. There’s lots of white space allowing for the reader, regardless of their age, to impose their own houses and family members into the book, while maintaining a focus on the text and what’s really happening here. It’s the simplistic, but humours, combination of text and illustration that gives this book a huge dose of love, laughter and family memories that makes it both a great bed time story (I guarantee your kids will want to try this out for themselves one night!) but also a fantastic Father’s Day gift.