It was Toni Morrison who said, “If there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
That quote perfectly sums up the reason I wrote the diverse picture book, My Dad’s Job, in 2016.
My Dad’s Job shares a powerful message about the value of parenting with love, direction, purpose, modeling, and consistency, but also, so much more.
My Dad’s Job is a book about the relationship between a father and son. I wrote the book for many reasons, but first and foremost was probably my frustration with finding a good book on fatherhood that had characters resembling my own family. There are many books with dads as the main character, but not many books with Black dads as the main character.
While not 100% true to life, it is inspired by my family’s story and follows the relationship of a father and son as the son grows up. The dad and son talk about what the dad’s job is and the dad focuses on the fact that his primary and most important job is being his dad.
It is important for families to see that love and loyalty are shown in lots of different ways. Each person’s version or idea of what love looks and feels like will not always be the same. In this story, the father is a man of few words, but a lot of action. The father shows his family every day what it means to love, care, provide for and protect his family more through modeling than talk.
When the dad tells the son that he is going to track him how to be a man, the boy misunderstands how this will happen. Maybe the son thinks that this education will look more like a classroom or a formal lesson. He just does not realize that the father is showing him by his own daily actions and interactions exactly how a man should be.
This is a story of the power of modeling and the importance of being there in a child’s life. Just keeping your word can be a powerful lesson for a child to absorb. Showing is often better than telling.
Recently I was at a local elementary school and I read this book to a class. At the end of my time, a little boy told me that his name was Anthony- just like the boy in the book. My initial reaction was to give him the book I just read since he seemed to connect with it. But then he said, “But my Dad doesn’t live with me. I don’t know where my Dad is. I don’t get to see him anymore.”
I asked him if I gave him this book, would he like that, or would this story make him sad. He had a huge smile on his face and he said, “This book won’t make me sad. I love this book because it shows me the kind of Dad I want to be!”
Talk about a tear-jerker. I barely made it out of that school that day with my composure intact, but there was no better reminder of why this book is necessary and important. My Dad’s Job is an example of modeling in action too!
Celebrate with Make A Way Media!
My latest book, This is the Earth has been winning awards!
This is the Earth, a diverse picture book that shares a message of peace, love, respect, compassion, and inclusion. Published in early 2019, the book’s core message is this: peace is meant for all of us and it is everyone’s responsibility to care for each other like the family that we are. AND it has won TWO notable awards! Read more about this timely (and much-needed) picture book HERE.
Help us spread the message of peace far and wide!