With Fathers Day passing just last week, I thought this would be the perfect book to review for June’s Book of the Month.

Before I get into the contents of this book, its important to mention the look, feel and quality this brings to the reader. The beautiful uncoated paper stock matched by the stunning illustrations tells a story all by itself. Something which Little Mix can’t offer my children when its down time before bed.

“My Dad Used to Be so Cool”, is an intriguing book title. Why was the dad cool, and why is he now not cool? I need to know! As a dad of two, nearly three, the question I have been asking myself recently is “I wonder what my little ones think of me?”. Do they think I’m cool? Do they think daddy just works? The answer I would want is “I think my daddy is cool”. This read actually brought a lump to my throat, not only because I could connect with it, but because it was very well written with illustrations that captured the process of a father making that all important transition from being rock star, to being a man with changed priorities as he discovers what is really important. Unfortunately I can’t say I was a super cool rock star, however I am also making this transition to be there more for my children, and this nice little read really confirms that it will be the best decision I will ever make.

The craftsmanship and design of this book is very easy on the eye and offers something new in every spread. The book is short, but there is plenty to discover in each page which helps build up the narrative.

What I loved about the content, is the child is telling the story. The short sentences mixed with the strong visual language brings a fine balance which would put a smile on any dads face. While the read puts you in the head of the child, the illustrations paint the picture of fatherhood, with visuals which all us Dads can relate to.

The craftsmanship and design of this book is very easy on the eye and offers something new in every spread. The book is short, but there is plenty to discover in each page which helps build up the narrative. The visual style is strong, and the use of a consistent colour palette offers good tonal balance throughout.

For me there is also an untold story with the nature of this read. It suggests there was heartbreak before the transition the father had to make, which also has an emotional impact. It’s very clever, throughout the read you make up in your own mind the motives for the father to give up what he had. However in essence, whatever the motive, the decision was always the right one.

As parents we all know sacrifices have to be made in order to devote our lives to raising our children. The most important thing in life is family. Spending time with loved ones is far more important than big numbers sitting in a bank account. This book confirms what it means to be a dad and illustrates it in a way which connects to all readers.

What a beautiful thing.

MY DAD Used to Be so Cool is available to buy at DiscoverAwesomeDesign.com


Dan Gorham is a seaside loving designer situated in Hastings East Sussex, and Co-Founder of Twelve Yards Out, a creative design collaboration between two great dads. His talents involve design, drumming, and more impressively, the ability to tap his head, rub his tummy, stomp his feet, roll his eyes and wiggle his tongue all at the same time!

 

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