How a book about a mum became a book about a dad


A librarian friend of mine maintains that A Dad Who Measures Up (2007) is his favourite Davide Cali book. A collaboration with Italian illustrator Anna Laura Cantone, the book is a rich, quirky and ultimately heartwarming story of a little girl who searches for a new dad to ‘measure up’ to her wonderful mum.

Here’s Davide writing about the creation of the book on his Facebook fan page  this week:

I think it was 2003 when I contacted Anna Laura Cantone. I had seen her first books and found her pretty interesting but I still wasn’t sure to call her until I saw the book of the bride [The Wedding Dress Mess]. It was really awesome.

I asked her if she was interested in working with me. At that time a little French publisher, Sarbacane, was translating her book and they wanted to publish an original project if she had one. So she told me that maybe we could try to work together in France. This would be the first of a long series of books I’d do in France, and the first of four I’d do with Anna Laura [their latest collaboration, What is this Thing called Love? came out in June this year].

In some way this is a commissioned book too. Zoolibri asked me for a book about a mum, to put alongside to a book they had translated from Belgium about a dad. I started my story telling about this very special mum, but in the middle of the book, suddenly it became the story of … a dad! So, it being impossible to give it to Zoolibri, I translated it into French.

A Dad Who Measures Up has now been published in France, Spain, Norway, Italy, Belgium, Taiwan, Korea, Portugal, Mexico, Brazil, China and, of course, by Wilkins Farago in Australia.

Our edition, the first and only English language edition, can be purchased in paperback or hardback here, or from your local bookshop.

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