I came across Slog’s Dad on the recommendation of a 6 year old girl, and must confess now that without her, I never would have picked this book up off the shelf. An interesting hybrid of a graphic novel and a short story, Slog’s Dad shines as it demonstrates just how powerful illustration can be, as the punch delivered by Slog’s Dad is not only through David Almond’s words, but also the double page spread created by Dave McKean. Not wanting to give away too much about the plot in this review, I have to say that I can fully understand why this has become a favourite of the young child who advocated it to me, and I urge you to read the book and then decide what message you think is being conveyed.
Only 55 or so pages long, Slog’s Dad is an incredibly powerful short story where the narrative is interspersed with pictures that in some places relate emotions that Davie, our narrator simply cannot put into words. For such a short story, Almond and McKean pack a lot into this hybrid novel as complicated issues of loss, hope and the spirituality are approached by the two young boys. The book is aimed at children 8 and above and I think could be used in a variety of ways within the classroom, from literacy where the idea of different dialects could be approached, to understanding the beliefs of different religions or as a way of approaching the idea of loss the emotions linked to this in PSHE.