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Just Like My Papa

Just Like My Papa

Written by Toni Buzzeo
Illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka
Hyperion Children’s Books, 2013
Picture Book, 32 pages
Ages 2–8

Hardcover ISBN: 978-148478795-3 

Awards & Good Things

  • A Children’s Book of the Month Club Selection

Book Description

Kito wants to be just like his papa, the protector of the pride. Throughout a day and night on the savanna, the cub imitates the way his father roars, swings his tail, shakes his head, and pounces. Kito may be too little to catch a wildebeest, but he is brave enough to succeed in his own hunt. Someday he will be King, just like his Papa.

With its rhythmic text, dramatic moments on the African plain, and playful times for cub and papa, this book will make a perfect read-aloud for family sharing.

Just Like My Papa artwork by Mike Wohnoutka


“The acrylic illustrations are larger than life and show the expanses of the savannah but remain warm and kid-friendly, especially in the lions’ depth of expression, ranging from curiosity to impatience, from concern to pride. The pacing is superb, with the right amount of drama for the youngest readers yet awash with reassuring paternal love and care for young Kito. An author’s note briefly describes the social interactions of a pride.”

School Library Journal

“The warm and reassuring flow of the text coupled with the dramatic painterly scenes of the African landscape come together for a likable tale just in time for Father’s Day.”

Kirkus Reviews

“The personification of the lions allows the love between father and son to radiate throughout both the text and the luscious full-page colored illustrations. The book’s large format and rich, rhythmic language make it a good candidate for reading aloud to a group. At the same time, its quiet nature makes for a good one-on-one sharing, too.”