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Shopping with Dad Review by Lyria Moore

By Matt Harvey and Miriam Latimer
Barefoot Books, Inc.
2067 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02140

When I grew up, there weren't too many books showing a loving father involved with his children's lives. Lots of children I knew grew up without fathers at home. Shopping with Dad shows a loving father having fun with his daughter while doing a mundane thing.

The story starts out with the mother giving the father a shopping list. The father takes off with his daughter to the store. They find out that the list has some interesting new things to get as well as regular things. The father and daughter seem to have a goal of making this the best shopping trip ever, so they look for ways to have fun along the way. The daughter makes one mistake, and everything goes wrong. When the other shoppers in the store want to blame the daughter for her mistake, Dad comes to her rescue and lightens the mood again. The book ends with both father and daughter back at home telling Mom about their adventures.

Shopping with Dad is told in a fun way that children will enjoy. The mission of Barefoot Books is to celebrate art and story, and they've done it with this title. Adjectives and silly words lighten the mood of the tale. The illustrations are just as fun to look at as the story is to read; they give the story a chaotic backdrop. While the wording brings a fast-paced rhythm to the story, there is one word that definitely could have been left out. When everything starts to go wrong, the book says someone swore (using the word "Mercy"). Did the authors really need to have that word in a children's book? Some families might not mind it and just go on with the story. I chose to stop and explain this term to my children.

Apart from that one little instance, Shopping with Dad is a delightful tale that I will read over and over again to my children. It's wonderful having a Dad-centered book to share with them. They love their dad and are encouraged to see in this book another competent father who loves his child.

Product review by Lyria Moore, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2009