This picture book, told from the perspective of a man who identifies as Moorish-American, celebrates the role of fathers and father figures in their children’s lives.
As African-American educator and poet Haki R. Madhubuti states in a foreword, this children’s book “provides us with a necessary primer that puts Black men at the center of working families without negating the critical role of Black women.” The narration, from a child’s point of view, explains in rhyming couplets how fathers are important: They know how to fix things, they teach school subjects, life lessons, manners, morals, and history, they take kids on trips, meet with teachers, and cook meals. In the end, the child concludes, “When I grow up I’m going to be / as good to Father as he’s been to me” and present him with a brand-new truck.
El (Thank You and Please, 2017, etc.) writes verse that scans well as it sums up the best qualities of a parent. Although the book may help children appreciate fathers, its true audience may be adults. It starts off with a “Vow of Fatherhood” for a reader to fill in, and the narrator’s statements could be seen as ideals for dads to meet.
The expressive, varied illustrations by Barrington (Everything Is Wonderful II, 2018, etc.) depict a wide range of black skin tones.