Grizzly Dad

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Grizzly Dad Book Poster Image
Unique father-son adventure is bear-y fun for read alouds.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Shows a sweet bond between father/bear and son. And at the end of the book they both clean up their mess together.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a playful book in which the grumpy dad actually turns into a grizzly bear, and back, which may confuse the youngest kids. Also, in the end, both the father and son, who have been very messy, have pigs' tails.

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What's the story?

A grumpy dad wakes up, turns into a grizzly bear, and spends an exciting day with his son. Not only do they drive to town in a zippy little red car and go to the movies, they also have fun doing bear things, like climbing trees and eating honey sandwiches. They leave the house looking like a pig sty, but luckily the dad does turn back into his real self before the rest of the family gets home; well, that is, except for the curly pig tails he and his son sport as they head off to clean up the mess.

Is it any good?

Kids and dads will have fun with this book, GRUMPING when the grouchy dad wakes, GROWLING with the grizzly-dad, and acting out just how AWFUL bad table manners can be. It's all that sort of Dad-and-kid play that includes tumbling around and trying to wrestle each other off the bed. But there are also moments of sweetness when the boy teaches the dad to skateboard and the grizzly bear-dad teaches the boy to climb a tree and scratch his back. Then, as they both walk away, holding a broom and pail, and each other's hand, the reader knows that cleaning up is going to be just one more bonding moment of fun.

The text, which is simple and playful, is dotted with possible loud and growly sound effects that make this a perfect read-aloud book. And the softly-toned illustrations add a tender quality that is chock full of loving bear hugs, just right for Dad.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether a human dad could really turn into a grizzly bear, or a pig for that matter. Why did that happen in this book? What was the dad like when he woke up? Why did he turn into a grizzly? Can you imagine that happening to you? How would you act? What was the best part of their day together? What kinds of things do you like doing with your dad? Why did they have pig tails as they went off to clean the house?

Book details

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