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With Dad, it's like that
[Stasera sto con Papa']

'Mum is at the movies. 
That means that, tonight, Dad is in charge'
Little Clare is not used to the way Dad handles bedtime, because of course Dad does things differently. At bath time the water is not warm enough, and dinner is not as good as the one mum cooks.
Winding down in bed is also more diffucult with Dad, he forgets to tidy up, dim the lights, and can't really read their bedtime story as mum does.
Will Clare manage to happily go to sleep anyway?

Nadine Brun-Cosme  (author of Big Wolf, Little Wolf and the latest Passo Davanti, which I talked about here ) plays with some of the stereotypes about dads writing a fun, sweet, spot-on short story, accompanied by Le Huche's quirky, cheerful illustrations that children will love to look at.
A small book that will instantly resonate with little ones used to see their routine with mum (if mum usually handles bedtime) changed as this is delegated to someone else.
Being myself a mother who never delegated bedtime in four years (true story:) for various reasons, I see a whole bunch of interesting messages in this apparently light, simple book.
Firstly, I see the importance of teaching children about differences, which starts at home.
Yes, mum and dad do things differently, and yes dads might (might!) in some cases be less precise and clumsier around the house than mums, but that is fine.
It is fine to do things differently, we can adjust.
It's a matter of transitioning from motherly flawless love and care to an imperfect reality, from an effortless state where someone knows us even better than we do, anticipating and filling our needs, to a world where we need to explain how we want things done, learning about the value of communication.
At the end of the book we see Clare snuggling up in bed with her Dad, after they both made an effort to connect with each other.
It's ultimately about teaching resilience and for children it's about experiencing that 'happiness' doesn't come with perfection.
So mums let's go to the movies, let's take care of ourselves, and let dads be dads, let our children learn about different ways of doing things and expressing love.
-
With Dad, it's like that [2016]
English language edition by Albert Within & Company available here
Stasera sto con papa' [2015]
Italian edition by Edizioni Clichy
Words by Nadine Brun-Cosme
Images by Magali Le Huche
Reading age: 2+
Themes: Dad, Routine, Bedtime






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