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Book review: Dad Said by Russell Anderson

Dad Said is Major Russell Anderson’s first book, which will appeal to preschool-aged children.


Dad Said is written by Salvation Army officer Major Russell Anderson, a first-time book author based in Geelong.

A proud father and grandfather, Russell has produced the story in collaboration with his daughter Christine, who illustrated the book. It was during a time of play that the idea for the children’s book series Dad Said came about.

The story’s premise is of a father who sets out to bake a cake with the kids for the mother’s birthday. Told from the perspective of one of the daughters, the attempt to bake a cake goes horribly wrong as the father goes about gathering the ingredients and the children attempt to follow the recipe. Russell’s narrative utilises an effective rhyming scheme, building to a double-page spread at the book’s climax, its humour revolving around the hapless dad motif.

Author Russell Anderson is a Salvation Army prison chaplain in Victoria.

Christine’s pastel illustrations are fun and detailed, with a soft approach to linework (even a little reminiscent of the style seen in 60s Hannah-Barbera animations).

Another feature of the illustration is the presence of a mischievous possum that hides amidst the pages, providing an extra layer of fun for young readers looking to spot the creature while reading the book.

Dad Said is published by Little Steps and will particularly work for preschool-aged readers. This initial release is subtitled Book 1, implying more tales may come featuring this father and family.

Dad Said is a simple story, but that will help it connect with kids learning about the mistakes we can make and the memories we make that matter so much more.

For more information and to purchase the book, go to


Major Russell Anderson is a Salvation Army prison chaplain in Victoria and has written for Salvos Online.


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