It is natural for young children to idolise parents. They may even dream of being just like them! But, every child also goes through the journey of discovering who they are. Their intrinsic qualities, like and dislikes are unique to them. How can parents gently lead their kids to discover themselves? This is the poignant theme that runs through this apparently simple book, titled Just Like Papa (Tota Books).
Gia dreams of becoming a famous artist, just like her father. She often dabbles in little creations. She watches him at work and often visits his studio. But, one day when she starts to paint, she is overwhelmed with a block. She just can’t paint.
Would she never be like her papa? Her father tires to soothe her but Gia is disturbed. However, the arrival of her grandmother changes something. Does the block finally melt? What does it give way to? The story follows Gia through the entire process of realization and revelation.
The book has been illustrated by Shreya Sen. And, they are cheery and completely in sync with the mood of the tale. The entire mood of the book, through the words, the theme and the illustrations is very contemporary and hence will resonate with the modern reader.
Just Like Papa will appeal to the 3-7 age group, with the 6-7 year olds being able to read it by themselves. After reading the book, one could initiate discussions on topics such as does a child really need to ‘follow’ the profession of the parent? What happens when one listens to what the inner self wants to do? How can one understand what one is truly interested in?
A simple but poignant tale that will be a good addition to your picture book collection!