Swedish Writer & Illustrator
Ulf Stark, illustrated by Eva Eriksson
When Dad Showed Me the Universe
Gecko Press, 2015 $19.99pb 28pp
ISBN 978 1 92727182 7
Themes: Fathers and sons/ Humour/ Understanding
Dad removes his blood-flecked white coat after a day working in his dental surgery and takes his young son (the narrator) out into the cold Swedish night to look at the universe. While the little boy delights in the detail of the blades of grass, the snails and the thistles, his father has his head in the stars identifying the Scorpion, the Little Bear and the Big Dog. Then, to the wicked delight of his son, he steps in a large dog turd and it is time to go home. Ulf Stark, who wrote the book in 1998, is one of the few children’s writers who could take a subject like the whole universe, reduce it to a comfortable and understandable size and inject a great element of humour as well.
The gentle illustrations by Eva Eriksson are as much a part of the story as the text.
Preschool – Age 4 up