How It Works: The Dad, by Jason Hazeley & Joel Morris

This delightful little book is the latest in the series of Ladybird books for Grown-Ups series, which have been specially planned to help adults with the world about them.

The satirical ‘How It Works’ series is penned by Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris, whose CV’s boast writing credits for shows like Screenwipe and the Paddington film. Celebrating the Penguin imprint’s centenary, the series include The Hipster, The Wife, Dating, and The Hangover.

The Dad, like the other books, features original Ladybird artwork alongside brilliantly funny, yet understated text. Although written to garner laughs, each page will make you think and examine modern life against the nostalgia of those original pictures.

The humour is at times hard to find, and it is mainly found in gentle mocking of past stereotypes. Each page lightly mocks the original, outdated illustrations using comparisons to popular culture. The little nuggets of wisdom will make you grin, and think. Of particular favourite in our house was the page about how the children laughed about “the idea of putting paper photographs in an album”. Comparing screaming children to spreadsheets, and the mind-numbingness of Frozen on repeat was also a hit.

The large clear script, the careful choice of words, the frequent repetition and the thoughtful matching of text with pictures all enable grown-ups to think they have taught themselves to cope.  This comical guide for adults on all things Dad-related, is a perfect gift for new Dads, confused mums and anyone who just doesn’t understand why their dad does what he does.

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Rebekah is an Otago-based mother of two young girls. The former journalist and primary school teacher has a soft spot for New Zealand authors and young adult fiction. Follow her on Twitter.

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