May 26, 2009
Where are all the nice, normal dads in children's books?
Fathers in children’s books are rarely positive figures. But as dads do more childcare, it’s time publishers took note
Cars and Trucks centres on the Pig family’s outing to the beach. Over the course of the day, Pa Pig repeatedly lets down the others. He falls asleep, having promised to drive. He fails to change a flat tyre, leaving his wife to do it. He gets sunburnt, despite her warnings. It’s an image of the lazy, feckless, unreliable paterfamilias echoed in various TV sitcoms. He is practically a porcine Homer Simpson.
Don’t get me wrong, Peppa Pig is wonderful. And I’m aware that there is plenty of good-natured humour to be had from lampooning fathers. But, faced with these negative images, I looked through Ava’s selection of bedtime reading in search of positive representations of dads.
Read his full piece here.