Having fun with a library card...
One of our favourite things to do with our son is take him to the library. The act of taking him there is of course fun, given the engaging child activities you might expect to find at a public library. There are toys there we couldn’t possibly fit into our space or into our budget, to say nothing of the fact that it must feel special for him since it’s a like a trip to an amusement park with books on the walls. But the books, are of course the real draw.
I can’t help but look at all the books on the shelf. Most of these are well above his age level but this gives me an opportunity to reflect on all the experiences he’s going to have as he grows. For those that are at his age level, choosing which books to take out is a considerably less stressful exercise in making choices which will affect his development as opposed to, say, obsessing over school admissions or sports he can play. I can pull out books that have count through the numbers in a global language or have an art style that I find is an engaging way to teach him about animals, morals, or some other concept with a low risk of failure. And if it doesn’t work or it’s not one he likes, well, it’s just going to go back on the shelf and we’ll pick out a new one next time.
But on our last trip to the library, one caught my eye. It’s called “Daddy Dreams”, published by Chronicle Books and written/drawn by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben (it was originally published in France by Hachette Jeunesse). Spoiler alerts are out of the question because it’s 14 pages (it is a kids’s book after all), but what made it notable is that it’s all about dads across the animal spectrum.
Having read books like these out loud, I know that at this stage, these books are about the parents, not about the children. So a book like this is so crucial because it helps the dads reading it to their kids feel like they are being an integral part of their child’s life in more ways than simply doing the act of reading. They see themselves and their kids in the story. They see their fatherhood from above. They get to feel like they’re something their child is looking up to. That’s a huge emotional win.
Do you know of any books that are great reads for dads and for their kids? What are ones you enjoy reading to your kids, whether or not they relate to the concept of the fatherhood? What book would you suggest a dad who needs a bit of positive encouragement read to his kids? Please feel free to reach out and tell us more.
Colin McCann, Managing Director