World Kid Lit Challenge Day Nine

Today’s choice is picked by Dominic: Applesauce by Klaas Verplancke, translated from Dutch by Helen Mixter (Groundwood Books).

Dominic: It is funny because they use funny words to describe his Daddy’s body, for example, his tummy as a pillow. I like it when the daddy turns into monster. And when they say, “a cactus grows out of his chin”.

Emma: I like it when he says “I’ll cook your homework in the soup”. Daddy turns into a gorilla but Daddy turns back into a Daddy. It’s not scary at all. 

Laura Taylor from Planet Picture Book (www.planetpicturebook.com) commented that she wasn’t sure if this book “will suit everyone’s taste”. Intrigued by such a review, this was one I had to get my hands on.

Daddy is loving and kind, most of the time. But sometimes Daddy is tired and sometimes he turns into “thunder Daddy”, who shouts and tells the boy what to do. “Stupid Daddy”, thinks the boy. After the shouting though, kind Daddy returns, holding out an olive branch in the shape of applesauce. After all, Thunder Daddy “doesn’t last forever”.

As a parent, I can really identify with this book. While it’s something we’re not proud of, as parents we do lose it sometimes, or we bark out those instructions. I love that it shows the reconciliation at the end; despite the temporary tension in the relationship, the son smells the applesauce from afar, feeling the warmth on offer. As the boy knocks on the door, Daddy welcomes him back and, using the applesauce as the link between them, they make up again.

The pictures are great and Dominic and Emma both enjoyed this one. We read it before my husband returned home from work and they took great delight in pointing out the similarities between Daddy in the book and real Daddy – much to his dismay! This is another one the children keep asking for – a great recommendation!




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