2022 Purple Dragonfly Award Winner
Honorable Mention for Picture Books 6 and Up
Ethan and Tyler love to pretend. By holding ordinary objects and using their big imaginations, they take themselves to faraway places filled with fun and adventure. One afternoon Ethan and Tyler ask their Daddy to pretend with them. Together, they travel to the jungle, the deep sea, space, a car race, and even Mount Everest! But not every adventure goes as planned, making Ethan and Tyler wish they were home instead. Daddy shows them it’s ok to be scared and together they find out just how strong they can be; and that it’s fun to try new things. In the end, Ethan and Tyler find out they want to be just like Daddy.
Just Like Daddy by Meredith Johnson celebrates the wonder of imagination. Ethan and Tyler are brothers. One day while they are playing together, they run into their dad while he is working in the garage. The boys want to go on an adventure, and their dad willingly plays along. They hop into the car, and suddenly their garage melts away, and they are racing around a racetrack at top speed. After winning their race, they return to the garage ready for another adventure. Ordinary items found around their garage lead them into more fantastical and fun adventures, with dad eager to participate. Every time they finish an adventure one of the boys declares they want to be "Just Like Daddy". Their last adventure includes a surprise guest who joins in on the fun.
Just Like Daddy is a love letter to those dads that take the time to join in on their kid's adventures. Meredith Johnson has captured exactly the way kids can dive wholeheartedly into the worlds they create in their heads. The illustrations by Ellisa DiRenzo are colorful and full of fun details. The boys and their dad jump from their comfortable garage into the jungle, space, and even the depths of the ocean! Each adventure also leads to dad sharing a tidbit of real-life information too. The love and admiration that Ethan and Tyler have for their dad are palpable. Each adventure leads them to discover something new about their father. Just Like Daddy is the ideal story to share with your little adventurers! Reviewed By Kristine Zimmerman for Readers’ Favorite