The Dressing-up Dad

The Dressing Up DadThe Dressing-up Dad from Maudie Smith and Paul Howard.

As a little one you adore your parents. Absolutely adore them. Then that time emerges when their quirks become a little less adorable, a little more embarrassing… until you feel the need to hide them away. Safely. As a parent I’ve accepted, even relished this role, I feel it’s my duty to be an embarrassing, and I’m frequently (and often unintentionally) pretty good at it too. Maudie Smith and Paul Howard capture this changing relationship just brilliantly.

Little Danny and his dad in The Dressing-Up Dad made quite a team. Several, succinctly worded pages take the time to show how much fun the duo had when they dressed up… wherever they went. Howard’s illustrations capture the fun, excitement and the great bond between father and son during these moments. Especially during Danny’s birthdays – always a huge deal with LOTS of dressing up. But. This year Danny’s noticed something. The other Dads aren’t like his, so he has a different request for his birthday…

“Can’t you come as a dad instead? An ordinary everyday one. Please?”

As the text on each page becomes longer Smith brings Dad to life, keen to please his son, but a little reluctant all the same. Howard’s illustrations show Dad looking, well a little glum as he watches the kids play, whilst he attends to more grown-up roles. And that’s when little Danny spots exactly what’s wrong… and sets about putting it right. Hooray.

Acceptance, fun and family are the focus of this uplifting picture book, with sons and dads firmly at its core. A great read for Father’s Day.

The Dressing-up Dad is a featured title in our curated collection of Best Father’s Day Books for Children. 


Maudie Smith
Paul Howard
Oxford University Press

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