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On my desk: New picture books for Father’s Day

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 30-05-2010

There are two new picture books just out that cover dad, and just in time for Father’s Day.

These aren’t coffee table books, exactly, but smaller glossy editions that you might be tempted to look at for Father’s Day.

Dear Dad is a collection of black and white and color photographs taken by photographers and edited by Geoff Blackwell. While it’s a beautiful book with striking images, some of which make you smile, this is a book geared more to women than to men, for Father’s Day. Dear Dad is a tribute to dads of all types, with some meaningful quotes from the famous, and not-so-famous thrown in. $14.95 on Amazon.

fatherhood_roberthouser.jpg

While Dear Dad is a nice try at reaching dads, I prefer a new book by Robert Houser self-published at Blurb.com and entitled Fatherhood. In Fatherhood, all the pictures are in color, and the images look like photos of real dads. Rather than relying on the drama of black and white to show the power of fathers, Houser instead looks to portray a modern dad who isn’t just there to save the day, but also to do the laundry and make breakfast. Perhaps this is why Gloria Steinem penned the introduction to the book.   

The quotes in Fatherhood are less quotable in the Bartlett’s sense, but no less powerful in their simplicity. The quote “‘Look a baby bear and daddy bear.’ ‘Yes.'” has a meaning that will send shivers down the back of any father who has faced the end of those book-reading days. Other quotes are by non-famous dads and often pack a punch.

Unfortunately, given the length of Fatherhood and the fact that it’s self-published, the price for this book is very high: $54.95 plus postage.

I enjoyed both of these books, but clearly found a more emotional connection with Houser’s Fatherhood.