written and illustrated by Brian Lies
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016
ISBN 978-0-544-53433-9

Wh0 is a Gator Dad?  He's the dad you see in the supermarket with his kids, making sound effects as he wheels the cart around the corner.  He's the dad at the playground urging his child to swing higher.  He's the dad who's present for his kids, and—though some of the things he does is different—loves them and will do anything for them.

A father shows love in many ways.  Sometimes it's in what he says, but sometimes it's in what he does.

Come along as a gator dad and the kids do nothing in particular . . . and still get a whole lot done together.  In this celebration of the inventive—and sometimes unorthodox—ways that dads do things, Brian Lies's bright-eyed gators demonstrate an energetic and loving style of parenting, one that embraces each day to the fullest.

Why Do this Book?

Back in the 90s, I was a stay-at-home Dad.  I had wonderful times with our daughter Maddy, and I experienced every parent's frustrations and exhaustion, too.  I enjoyed braiding her hair.  Reading together.  Going on excursions into the wild (the woods behind the house).  But pulling the legs of tiny Capri pants over a Barbie doll's rubbery thighs was a nightmare.

Years later, and I treasure that time we had.  You can't buy the closeness I would have missed if I hadn't been an involved Dad. 

GATOR DAD Activity Kit

Looking for some fun things to do with the kids?
This free activity kit may get the ideas flowing!

Dads in Ads

Fathers are often depicted as buffoons in tv shows and ads, so I celebrate companies who show involved dads in a respectful, caring way!


Mile High Reading   by Dylan Teut

Daddy Mojo blog review

Writer's Rumpus interview by Joyce Audy Zarins

Beyond the Car Seat blog review

Miss Marple's Musings by Joanna Marple

GATOR DAD Reviews 

School Library Journal writes, in its March/April edition:

PreS-Gr 2—A fun-loving and vivacious alligator dad embraces the tasks of the day with his three little gators in tow. He knows how to make errands exciting and the little things in life robust. Gator Dad sets off on a day of imaginative adventure through the grocery store, the park, and the neighborhood and even back at home. Gator Dad's energy knows no limits, and kids will love seeing how he tackles the everyday occurrences in life. The illustrations are colorful and fun, adding a great deal of humor to the story. The hues are rich and vibrant, and the characters' expressions are full of joy. The concise prose is lyrical but not rhyming. "I'll be your raft on a sea of grass,/a tree for you to climb./I might even agree to do something/ that maybe we shouldn't have done." The content of the story will pull listeners in and keep them engaged. VERDICT    This is great fun as a read-aloud, and early readers will enjoy the challenge of independent reading as well.—Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE