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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Dads are pretty special. I know my Dad was. How about yours? Oliver has never met his grandfather, his father’s Dad. In fact, his Dad has never met him either. Oliver makes a list of all the things he would tell his grandfather about Dad if he were to meet him. It’s a pretty special list that includes all the wonderful things Oliver’s Dad does for him and how he’s always there when needed. Oliver’s Dad teaches him how to do things, shares special times with him (even if it means being silly), is there when Oliver is hurt or scared and, most important, reads to him every night: “He says that a child without books is like a house with no windows.” This is one very smart, loving Dad.
Victor Dias de Oliveira Santos’s picture book story, My Dad, My Rock, is a tender, compassionate look at a father-son relationship. The plot follows Oliver’s description of his Dad, listing all the great qualities that he’s sure his Dad’s Dad would want to know. The plot is a journey not only about the father-son bond but also about what it truly means to be a Dad. The language is simple so young readers can follow along and the protagonist, Oliver, will certainly connect with young readers and their feelings toward their Dads. As the plot reaches its climax, Oliver learns the most important lesson of all; that his Dad believes Oliver can be whatever he wants to be when he grows up. What do you think Oliver wants to be most? This is a beautiful, touching story that will melt your heart in the same way that Robert Munsch’s book, Love You Forever, touched generations of young readers (and their loving parents, too).