Children’s Book Giveaway: A Father’s Song.
June 08, 2010

In our household, Donald works outside of the home.  As a result, during the week he spends ten or eleven hours each day away from Charlotte.  So I make it one of my top priorities to include him in her life all day, every day.

There are plenty of little ways to do this, but one of the easiest has been to read books to her that emphasize the paternal relationship.  Goodness knows, I cannot resist books that focus on fathers.  It’s like a disease.  When somebody gave us a gift card to spend at a book shop recently, I went in with every intention of purchasing a cookbook.

I came out with a picture book about fathers.

At any rate, one of our favorites is a Janet Lawler book (illustrated by Lucy Corvino) called A Father’s Song.  If it sounds familiar, that’s because I wrote about A Mother’s Song a couple months ago.  Of the two, A Father’s Song is my favorite.

One of the reasons I prefer A Father’s Song is that the story is set during a day at play.  The father and child pair begins at a playground, swinging and sliding and picnicking, and then moves to a beach where they play in the waves and where the father (in that way fathers do) throws his child up in the air.  There is a lot of paternal interaction in the book, all of it cleverly depicted and richly illustrated.  And at ten months old, Charlotte is just now beginning to make the connections.  If I read this book to her right after she wakes up, she looks around for her father, checking his side of the bed and in the shower and by the front door before sighing listlessly and giving up.

THAT?  That part where she sighs?  That is heart-wrenching.  But I guarantee that the book is not.  It is sweet and adorable through and through.

Pros: Obviously, it focuses on dads.  The poetry is also fun to read and the illustrations are all activities that children with a father-figure are familiar with.  The illustrations are warm and endearing.  Best of all, one of the spreads is devoted to an image of a father reading to his son.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: It would make a great Father’s Day or birthday gift for a father, would it not?  Especially if it came from his little rugrat(s)!

Did you know? Nearly one-quarter of adults in America read at or BELOW a fifth-grade reading level.  I know that at first glance, that does not seem particularly horrific.  But let’s put it this way: would you trust a fifth-grader to read well enough and quickly enough to drive?  Neither would I.  The only way to reverse the tide, to ensure that the next generation is filled with individuals whose academic careers and future jobs/daily functions are not imperiled by an inability to read, is to read to that generation while they are still children.  One day, those kids might be reading your medical charts, after all.  When you realize that, a thirty-minute daily session of nursery rhymes and fables seems well worth it, don’t you think?

What to do: You can enter this giveaway by leaving a comment below or sending me an e-mail answering this question: tell me a (happy) memory you have with a father or grandfather figure in your life.  If you didn’t have either, then pick a different parental figure!  All you need is an e-mail address.  The giveaway ends Thursday evening at 9 P.M. Pacific Time and the winner will be announced Friday morning.  You can leave one entry every day, for a total of up to three entries.

For extra entries: This is on the honor system, so please be honest.  I will award you one extra entry if you vote for me at Top Mommy Blogs by clicking here.  Each day you vote, I will award you one additional entry.  Don’t forget to let me know!  I am hoping to move into a spot in the top ten so that we can slowly begin to reach more parents about the joys of reading with children.  If we inspire just ONE parent to read to their kid today, it’s worth a click or two, don’t you think?

To purchase this book: You can buy A Father’s Song through Amazon.com (that link uses my affiliate code) or locate a local retailer through Indie Bound.org.


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  1. By on June 08, 2010

    I love the fact that you so strongly encourage parents to read to their children. I do know I was reading before kindergarten, which is skill that many children do not have these days.  I grew up in a household where my father took my brother and I to the library every week without fail. (Until the middle of my high school years, where I stopped doing homework so I could read instead. Strange way to rebel, I know.)  I loved bringing home stacks of books on a variety of subjects. As an added bonus, as I got older I loved checking out music tapes of the popular artists of the time.
    As a side note,  I strongly encourage anyone with any amount of time to volunteer with their local literacy organization. An hour a day twice a week does wonders for someone in need.

  2. By on June 08, 2010

    My Dad used to like to golf when i was younger.  I remember being maybe 8 or 9 yrs. old and he let me come with him and I got to be the caddy.  I was so excited to go with him (instead of my older brother) and although that golf bag was super heavy and I struggled with it, it was a good day.

    I voted for you at both sites.

  3. By Kimberly O'Rosky on June 08, 2010

    What a wonderful idea for Father’s Day - looks like I’ll be heading to the bookstore soon :) I was a daddy’s girl growing up. I was always helping him work in the yard and I enjoyed riding my bike alongside him as he trained for marathons. On Saturdays he would often make lunch for the neighborhood kids and serve it to us in my playhouse. He would always hide little treats in amongst the food. As I got older, he still was the first person I talked things over with. He took me shopping for dresses for all those school dances and he knew immediately upon meeting my husband that we had something special and would one day get married. I’ve loved watching him develop a relationship with my husband now and I can’t wait to see him with our baby!!

  4. By Lyndsey on June 08, 2010

    My favorite memory of my father…I have lots…but the one I love most is sitting in his bed with him once month reading through Highlights magazine that I got in the mail…we would do the hidden picture thing and I am sure that he found the hidden pictures first but would let me find them “first”

  5. By Kristin Messegee on June 08, 2010

    I LOVE your blog.  I read from start to finish in one day JUST after Charlotte was born.  I was home sick, just learning about baby blogs and fell in love with you and yours.

    I am having my first child—little man named Oliver—in September.  I think we have a lot in common philosophically regarding breast feeding, baby-wearing and especially FOOD!! Also in the learning phase, I am SO Interested to see how that part of your blog develops.  I have learned much about the other…like a water sling??  Who knew?

    I also just started blogging.  It’s great and hard and fun.

    Also just started voting for your blog.  Will do again today.

    Kristin

  6. By Courtney L on June 08, 2010

    This reminds me of when I was about four or five.  My parents were very into reading to us from a young age, but usually my mom would be the one to get us to settle down enough to hear a story.  But my dad had some great ones up his sleeve!  I remember him reciting the poem “The Raggedy Man” and I also remember sitting on his lap laughing while he read “Runaway Ralph” to me.  The wonderful thing is now that he has a new grandbaby, he can start that tradition all over again!

  7. By Mallory on June 08, 2010

    I think one of my favorite memories with my dad is when we’d go swimming. My dad would play all the silly games with me and let me stand on his shoulders as he walked into the deep end. He never made me get out, but swam with me until I was tired and wanted to get out.

    I voted for you!

  8. By Kristin Messegee on June 08, 2010

    Yeah, I didn’t even answer the question. I was just so excited to introduce myself.  As mentioned…I’m pregnant.

    I remember watching football with my dad and he never tired or got impatient with my incessant questions of how the game worked.  We watched hours of it, for years until I was an honest to goodness fan.  My football loving husband is always so proud that we can watch games and I actually know what’s going on. :)

  9. By on June 08, 2010

    I think I was in junior high and my dad picked me up from school…  He used to call me “punkin” and he called me this, while pinching my chin.  I’m not sure why, but it was such a sweet moment. I love my daddy and still sit on his lap, even though I am 35 years old. 

    I was lucky enough to give my dad his 5th grandchild, who is his first grandson. 

    My husband is already an amazing father and can’t wait to see this relationship grow.  I love my boys!

  10. By on June 08, 2010

    I voted for you.

    I don’t have many (happy) memories of my father…my parents divorced when I was six.  I’ll share my earliest memory.  My father used to come home from work and somehow, magically, pull jellybeans out from behind my sisters’ and my ears.  To this day, I don’t know how he did it…I always thought it was the coolest trick and of course, we got to eat the jelly beans after.

  11. By on June 08, 2010

    Dad, was the typical dad… He rough housed with us, was a tickle monster, and took my sister and I to go fishing. That is one of my fondest memories. My first real fishing trip with dad. He didn’t even bother to fish. He’d bait our hooks, and remove our fish. I will always remember the aount of joy on his face just watching us have fun… Of course it may have just been that he was trying to not laugh as my sister hollered and tried to whip the fish of her hook while beating it on the ground. You’d have never known she was going to grow up to be a wildlife biologist if you’d witnessed that… Lol.

    and I voted today :)

  12. By sarah m on June 08, 2010

    My dad always played soccer with me!

  13. By beyond on June 08, 2010

    my grandfather was a baker, and he would bake with me!

  14. By Kristen on June 08, 2010

    My Dad played wuffle ball and badminton with us in the backyard for hours. None of us were supremely athletic, but these were hours full of laughter!

  15. By on June 08, 2010

    LOVE YOUR BLOG.  As a kindergarten teacher it is so thrilling to see you reading to your daughter daily-you wouldn’t believe how many parents have a hard time fitting it into their days.  I just had my first in September and we are truly enjoying reading together (even though I think she likes to taste the book more than listen to the story).

    My father also worked long hours outside of our home-he owned a donut shop and would bake all the donuts and then come home late at night after the store was set up for the AM shift.  I loved to listed for him to come home and then quietly creep into the living room and snuggle up under his big arm while he watched the news.  Both he and I knew I was not allowed to be up at this hour but he always let me stay up until after the weather segment.  I cherish those quiet nighttime moments with my dad.  It is amazing how a father’s big daddy paw can make you feel so safe and loved!

  16. By beyond on June 08, 2010

    ps: voted for you!

  17. By ashley on June 08, 2010

    i used to get up early with my dad when i was a kid and do “excercises” with him before the rest of the house got up.  he would of course, do push ups and pull ups and sit ups and i would dance around him in my nightie, sit on his back, hang on his legs and generally soak up the daddy time ;-)

  18. By ashley on June 08, 2010

    i voted for you on top mommy blogs today ;-)

  19. By Jodie on June 08, 2010

    I was raised by my dad so it’s very hard to choose only one memory. He used to do these elaborate puppet shows at bedtime. Or the many, many, many summer days spent on his boat at the lake. I have a lot of respect for him and the job he did raising me.

  20. By Jodie on June 08, 2010

    And I voted! Keep up the good work… reading is so important!

  21. By Lyndsey on June 09, 2010

    Okay, so I voted for you today and here’s another fun memory with my dad, on Saturday mornings in the fall/winter my dad and I would get up he would make a fire in the fireplace and we would both get our books out and read…him in his favorite chair by the fireplace and me on the floor next to the chair and with feet getting warmed by the fire

  22. By Mallory on June 09, 2010

    I voted again! 2nd entry.

  23. By Heidi on June 09, 2010

    I remember going to the golf course with my dad on Friday evenings after dinner.  It was summer time and we would maybe stop for an ice cream cone on the way home.  It was fun to be outside with my dad, even though I had no (and still don’t have) interest in golf.  When you’re one of multiple children, you take what you can get, right?!

  24. By on June 09, 2010

    Voted again today!

  25. By on June 09, 2010

    I voted today.

    I was lucky growing up on a farm with my granparents right next door…we got to see them everyday.  The best was going over to have breakfast with Grampa when he came in from the barn and milking cows…nothing better than porridge with Grampa

  26. By on June 09, 2010

    One of my favorite memories is taking the train into New York City with my dad and spending a day one-on-one with him.  This was a big deal because I have a few brothers so one-on-one time was rare.  I still remember that day!

  27. By on June 09, 2010

    my dad worked TONS and went to school when I was little, so he didn’t see me much for the first years of my life. now that I have a little one of my own he’s made it a big, big priority to spend time with his grandson. I treasure watching my son and my dad together. we are making beautiful memories.

  28. By on June 09, 2010

    ps - I voted!

  29. By on June 09, 2010

    I voted again :)

  30. By Jesse on June 10, 2010

    Oooooh, what a lovely, lovely book…as usual! Crossing my fingers big time, hoping I´ll win this for my little girl and her beloved papa :)

    One of my favouritest memories I have of my papa is, that he loved to take us girls fishing with him…he showed us how to work the fishingpole and told us endless stories or pointed out the birds to us sitting by the water…the best thing is, that he can´t wait to take out his little granddaughter fishing with him and I can´t wait for her to make the same kind of memories that I did back then :)

  31. By Jesse on June 10, 2010

    Oh and I just voted for you of course :)
    #16 and counting xoxoxo

  32. By on June 10, 2010

    I voted.

  33. By beyond on June 10, 2010

    entry number two. my dad taught me how to ride a bike. there is a picture somewhere of him running down the street after me just having let go of my bike.

  34. By Lyndsey on June 10, 2010

    i voted for you today…

    and another memory was making bird houses with him…we probably made 4 or 5 and they are all up in the backyard

  35. By Ruth on June 10, 2010

    My dad took me to my first rock concert. Hall & Oates! Yes, I know I am dating myself.

  36. By Cynthia A on June 14, 2010

    A happy memory:  I remember my Dad used to take us to his office and let us play with all his drafting equipment, I loved it and this became a designer :)  I do not know why this came to my head first, but hey :) 

    I also voted for you today!!


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