Book Review: Great Job, Dad! and Great Job, Mom! by Holman Wang

I am a sucker for miniatures. I always have been. My favorite childhood toys were Polly Pockets and Micro Machines. So it was inevitable that I fell in love with these two books when they rolled in on our new book cart last month.

Wang’s miniature sets and needle-felted characters are full of painstaking detail. I sat poring over each illustration for several minutes. What I love most are the gentle, yet lively expressions on the characters’ faces and the slice-of-life aesthetic of the photographs. The rhyming text (written from a child’s perspective) highlights all the different roles that each parent plays in their children’s lives. The text/illustration pairings are often heartwarming and humorous (for instance, when Dad plays the role of “inspector,” he cautiously pulls open a diaper to check what’s inside).

One of the most intriguing things to me was the back matter about Wang’s process of making the illustrations. Not only does he handcraft each character and build miniature sets, he also scouts locations and takes forced perspective shots to get some of the backgrounds that he wants. It’s a fascinating and labor intensive process about which I encourage you to find out more!

Here is a longer talk he gave for Google where he goes into very specific detail about materials used in his process, particularly for his Cozy Classics series and Star Wars: Epic Yarns. If you don’t want to watch the full hour, just type his name into YouTube and you will find several shorter interviews.

These books would be perfect for children to share with their own parents, or for a Mom/Dad appreciation program.

I guess the question now is: Do I need to take up needle-felting as a hobby? Probably yes.

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