is a celebration of fathers — all kinds of fathers. 





Written by Kelly Bennett
Illustrated by Paul Meisel

(Candlewick Press, March 2010)
ISBN: 978-0-7636-3379-0



2010 NAPPA National Parenting Publications Award, Honors Winner

Library Media Connection's 2010 Editor's Choice Award!


Author Read-Aloud on YouTube!



"Pleasant, comforting cartoon-style illustrations in watercolor, acrylic, and pastel show each father separately but happily engaged in fun activities with the daughter, highlighting how the fathers approach even similar activities from quite different perspectives." —Booklist 
"...a positive and playful portrayal of a blended family. Bright, friendly cartoon illustrations show the happy family members engaged in all kinds of activities. Expressive faces and gentle humor add charm to the pictures. Youngsters with stepparents will appreciate seeing themselves in the story, and all children will enjoy seeing the loving attention heaped upon the protagonist." —School Library Journal 
"A girl with red pigtails good-naturedly explains that she has two fathers: Dad (her biological father) and Pop (her stepfather) …. The understated narration and subtly humorous mixed media cartoons make a potentially complicated — but familiar — situation feel easy and natural." —Publishers Weekly

Additional Reviews


Making this Book

I’m delighted to be working with Sarah Ketchersid again. Sarah was my editor for NOT NORMAN, A GOLDFISH STORY, too. Not only is she a brilliant editor, she is a delightful, funny person and easy laugh-er.

A picture book doesn’t just magically appear on the bookshelves. Loads of work and time goes into each one. It begins with an idea which becomes a story. I rework and rewrite the story oodles of times — even one as short as a picture book — making sure every word feels right.

When I think it’s finished, I send the manuscript to my agent, Erin Murphy. Erin reads it, tells me what she thinks is right and wrong with the story. I revise some more. (Erin is very good at her job.) When we are both happy with the story, Erin sends it to an editor.

If I’m lucky, the editor likes my story — happy dance time! — and makes more suggestions. Finally, after a few more rounds of revision, the editor makes an offer to publish the manuscript. Once the contracts are signed, the fun begins.

Next step was choosing an illustrator.

Some authors are also illustrators. I’m not. I only write the words. This means that the editor and art department folks have to search for an illustrator to turn my words into art! Sarah hunted for almost a year to find the perfect illustrator for Dad and Pop. Lucky for me she did.

First Paul has to figure out what the fathers in the book look like.

The text for Dad and Pop has a few clues about how they look—and many more clues about their personalities. But there is a lot the text doesn't say. Paul has to put it all together to create visual personalities for each character. (I didn't write anything about dogs???)


“Dad teaches me to cook....Pop teaches me to paint.”


(Wait until you see how these scenes turned out!)

The text for this spread reads: "Dad likes to fish. / Pop is a fish"


Now, have you ever seen a fish surf? Dig those board shorts.

Buy the Book

via Blue Willow Bookshop

via IndieBound

via Amazon

About the Illustrator

               Paul Meisel

               Paul Meisel

Paul Meisel is a brilliant, award-winning illustrator and author. I am so happy he agreed to illustrate DAD AND POP. What’s even more fun about having Paul illustrate my book is that he also illustrated my good friend Kathy Duval’s delightful picture books, THREE BEARS’ CHRISTMAS and THREE BEAR’S HALLOWEEN.

And way back in 1989, Paul illustrated Jill Davidson’s picture book AND THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED TO LITTLE LUCY. Jill is the daughter of my writing partner, Ronnie. She wrote LITTLE LUCY when she was 7 and Random House published the book when she was 9!

Q&A with Paul Meisel

What is your favorite food?

Just about anything with noodles and vegetables. All kinds of pasta, Chinese, and Japanese food

What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?

Play tennis or watch my kids play sports. Just spend time with family.

Why/how did you decide to become a picture book illustrator?

Always wanted to but after my first son was born I knew it was the direction for me.

How do you decide what the characters in a book will look like? And which images will be on each page?

It just takes lots of sketching. Many revisions.

What is your all time favorite picture book and why?

I have too many to pick just one. There are so many wonderful artists and authors, all unique and different. I suppose it depends upon which I've seen recently and my mood at the time.


Dad and Pop read by author Kelly Bennett, illustrations by Paul Meisel (Candlewick Press)