Wednesday, 3 December 2014

My Dad is a FIFO Dad

My Dad is a FIFO Dad by Jo Emery, illustrated by Ann-Marie Finn (Dragon Tales Publishing)
PB RRP $17.95
ISBN 9780992523923
Reviewed by Yvonne Mes

The author Jo Emery knows about the FIFO family lifestyle intimately. She uses her experience to share this heart touching story with other FIFO families. The first print run sold out fast.
The story shows a young girl and her father engaged in fun activities. It moves on quickly to:
               BUT ... A lot of the time my Dad is not at home.
Mum explains why:
               "Your Dad is a FIFO Dad, which means Fly In, Fly Out Dad."
Some children will be able to recognise themselves in their relationships with a parent who for whatever reason has to be away for longer periods and offers support by validating children's feelings. The story shows how father and daughter stay connected and maintain their relationship. It also explains the importance of FIFO work in terms a child will be able to understand.

At the back of the book is a page where children can write down where their Dad works and what their favourite things are to do together, though it may have been nice to acknowledge the FIFO mums out there.

The illustrations are hand-drawn and finished digitally, adding a fun collage feel by adding photos in some of the backgrounds. The back cover talks about resilience: 'This book forms the first of many support resources for children and families to build and maintain strength, resilience and unity.'  I like that promise.

Yvonne Mes is a children's writer and illustrator. Her first picture book, Meet Sidney Nolan (Random House) is scheduled for release in October 2015.

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