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Sunday, June 18, 2017

My Daddy Rules the World: Poems about Dads, written and illustrated by Hope Anita Smith. Henry Holt and Company, Raincoast. 2017. $24.99 ages 4 and up

 "Some dads go to offices
and wear a suit and tie.
And some dads wear a uniform
and fly across the sky.
Some dads have a briefcase
full of all the work they do ...

...Some dads go to meetings
and spend hours on the phone.
But my dad has the greatest job -
he's a dad that stays at home."

This book is going to get a whole lot of love and much well-deserved attention. You can count on that! I am hoping that if it the first book you have read by the amazing Hope Anita Smith, it won't be your last! You need to read her powerful poetry and see her gorgeous torn-paper collage artwork. I am adding a few spreads from this new book at the bottom of the post. You can see for yourself just how special they really are.

The dedication is perfect, and meant for many:

"This book is dedicated to dads, daddies, pops, and poppas.
To every man "fathering" a child and to those who stand in the
gap offering guidance, love, and support to children in need.
This book celebrates you."

It is, indeed, a celebration and a perfect book to share with kids and their dads today, and every day! The bonds are clear and strong. The times shared are shown here with humor, heart and candor. There are so many things that children do with those who 'father' them. In a series of sixteen poems Ms. Smith describes making breakfast, being strong, sharing books, teaching a child to ride a bike, even snoring.

" ... But when Daddy is sleeping
he isn't quiet.
He makes a noise
that's as loud as a riot!

It sounds just like horses
galloping fast,
getting louder and louder
as they rumble past.

I have a drum set
and a real horn that blows,
but Daddy is loudest
when he plays
his nose!"

What joy to share these poems with little ones and their families, allowing them to think about and describe the many things they do that make time so special when spent with Dad, or Papa, or Uncle Jack. The illustrations are faceless, yet still strongly show the love and comfort felt between the two. The child narrators aptly note their feelings for a very special man in their lives. They are small moments that are forever remembered and that mean a great deal to each and every one of them.

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