Saturday, June 11, 2022

Review: My Very Punny Dad by Ryan Milligan

 What better way to start the weekend than with a few laughs and giggles? This picture book is all about puns and a father's embarrassing sense of humor. I love books which mix fun with learning, so I definitely wanted to take a peek at this one. It just came out the end of April, so it's relatively fresh and new, too.

by Ryan Milligan
Illustrated by Justin Castaneda
Picture Book
35 pages
ages 5 to 10

My Very Punny Dad is a story for parents with an appreciation of word play and kids who are starting to understand all the silly ways in which language can be used. While a young girl goes about her day, her father wants to keep the laughs coming with his constant puns and "dad jokes". But just like snacking on cheese, can there be too much of a gouda thing? Humor through rhythm and rhyme from author Ryan Milligan, combined with heartfelt illustrations by Justin Castaneda make for a reading experience that will bring a smile to everyone's face - and perhaps some eye rolls as well.



Smiles and groans are a given as young readers sympathize at a boy's embarrassment over his father's quirky sense of humor.

This entire book is written in rhyme, and I did wonder if that would work with all of the puns thrown in along the way. But it did. The rhythm flows well and the rhymes match very well with the humor and atmosphere of the read. This isn't a picture book for the youngest readers, thanks to the puns and hidden meanings. Some of the phrases might even give the upper end of the age group a moment's pause, but this is a fun way to not only visit the puns readers will recognize but also introduce them to new ones. 

While the fun and learning keeps interest high, there's also heart in the tale. Readers will no doubt recognize moments, when they are embarrassed by their own parents' habits and connect with the boy. When the boy does finally make his frustration clear, his father also stops and acts 'normal'. They result of this isn't what the boy quite expects, and this is an interesting lesson for readers.

Of course, a picture book is nothing without its illustrations, and this one does bring lots of energy into the pages. The father's positive personality is impossible to miss with each page. 

This is a lovely way to explore the world of puns with young readers and make them laugh at least once or twice....and probably start being 'punny' for awhile themselves.

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