On My Papa’s Shoulders

Publisher: Otter-Barry Books

In South Africa, a little boy narrates his everyday routine of walking to school with different members of his family. When Mama takes him to school, they hurry along the bustling streets together stopping for a quick kiss goodbye. Sometimes Gogo takes him, and they walk slowly and talk about his friends, stopping to feed a hungry cat. When Tata takes him on rainy days, they splash in park puddles. Tata sings and stops for a big hug.

But it is the rare days when Papa takes him to school before work that are his most favourite. Papa lifts him up atop his shoulders and the little boy looks on at the world below. It is here on Papa’s shoulders that our little narrator is happiest of all.

This is an endearing and heartfelt picture book which celebrates the connection between father and sons, but also the unique bonds that can exist with different family members. The expressive watercolour illustrations and simple, lyrical text capture the specialness that can be found in everyday moments and routines. This is a brilliant book for snuggling down and sharing at home and the backdrop of the daily routine makes it perfect for sharing with children who have just started school.

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