Changing the incompetent dad narrative

Bored of Daddy Pig’s incompetence? A new book and cartoon shorts from Daddilife Productions aim to change the image of dads that young kids are exposed to in their formative years.


Fed up of tired old stereotypes of dads in the media and advertising? Bored of Daddy Pig being absolutely hopeless on the home front? Well, now comes an attempt to change the narrative.

The community website Daddilife is this week launching a brand new book and video series – Dadda Panda, including Youtube cartoon shorts and catchy songs for children aged three and up.  The cartoons are brought to you by the newly formed DaddiLife Productions.

Dadda Panda is one of the first primary carer (stay at home) dad lead roles in children’s media. Mumma Panda works outside the home.

The new company, book and cartoon series is the brainchild of Daddilife’s founder Han-Son Lee, who has already produced nine books, including four Amazon best sellers, in partnership with Nick Withers, former head of development at NBC Universal’s label Monkey and co-creator and producer of Rap Tales on Sky Kids, and registered children’s dietitian Sarah Bushell.

Han-Son says: “There is a huge dearth of positive and relatable Dad role models in children’s media. We aim to address this imbalance and create a more modern interpretation of fatherhood.”

He adds: “Dadda Panda offers a much needed new positive father figure that kids will love and parents will be inspired by. He is memorable, distinct and represents Dads in a way that gets children to do something positive. We are offering a unifying figure with an entertaining entry point, providing guidance and support.”

The book, Dadda Panda, is written in rhyming style and focuses on a relatable parenting challenge (in the first cartoon it is fussy eating) or ‘mission’ as Dadda Panda calls it. QR codes invite readers to view cartoon shorts on YouTube and sing along to songs such as ‘Gobble Your Greens’ and ‘Make Food Fun’.

The book challenges how Dads are often portrayed in children’s media as a bit lazy, useless and incompetent and offers a more modern view of fatherhood. It is backed by research – conducted by DaddiLife – which shows the majority of millennial Dads are now much more involved in day-to-day parenting than their own dads were. Dads were doing 18 per cent more childcare since Covid and two thirds  are involved in cooking for their children, with 40 per cent in charge of the grocery shop, according to the survey.

Dadda Panda activates ‘super Dad’ mode by going into his ‘shed’ or ‘man cave’ to figure out how to complete each mission. His AI-powered ‘smart’ plant Bot-Zai gives disastrous (and comedic) ideas that spark Dadda Panda’s more credible solutions.

The first mission tackles the thorny issue of fussy eating, and the challenge of getting kids to try new food. Ahead of the festive season, Daddilife Productions and Sarah Bushell have produced top 10 tips on ensuring a tantrum-free Christmas dinner here .

Bushell says: “This book is all about helping parents think differently about how they feed their children, as often how they ‘food parent’ stems from how they were fed as kids.”

She adds: “Being a positive food parent involves trusting your child to listen to their appetite, supporting them to grow confidence around unfamiliar foods by making mealtimes enjoyable and food fun, all so that their natural curiosity is piqued allowing them to explore and learn about how food looks, feels, smells and eventually tastes.”

*Dadda Panda is £8.99 and available at You can view the animated short and Christmas song Make Food Fun here.

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