Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Review: My Dad is a Russian Spy by Candy Berg

It's spy time in today's review and that for a picture book audience! It included imagination and reality in a lovely mix, and is sure to bring more than a smile or two.

Also, you might notice me mixing up things quite a bit from the announced plan the next week or so. There are some personal reasons for that, but all the books will be slipping in at one point or another. Just see it as a Halloween Trick-or-Treat surprise.

by Candy Berg
Illustrated by Isabela Flores de Moura
Entrada Publishing
Picture Book
33 pages
ages 4 to 8

A young girl decides her dad is a Russian spy. Follow the clues to see if you come to the same conclusion!

Breakout author Candy Berg has something for kids and parents alike in My Dad Is a Russian Spy.

Enjoy your family reading time and practice some spycraft yourself with every re-read.



A realistic child's imagination and desire for a little adventure make this a fun theme and a cute adventure.

This little girl is sure her father's a spy. She really didn't know it before but has finally pieced the activities together and has come to this conclusion. But most importantly, she loves him a lot.

I did think that this book was going to follow clues as the child pieces together her conclusion. Rather, she starts with her already settled conclusion and tells the reader why she thinks the way she does. This was a bit disappointing, since letting it actively join her search would have been more investing (imo). But this is still a sweet read as the text explains what reasons she has, one by one, and the illustrations show reality.

I did smirk and smile, and I'm sure young readers/listeners will as well. Some situations were very obvious in what was really going on, while others were a little less clear (and might need a tiny shove in pointing them out depending on the reader). I did appreciate the realistic play on a child's fantasy and how it allowed reality and fantasy to meld into a fuzzy and happy truth. It's a fun read and one which will have kids flipping through more than once.

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