Novelist Clyde Edgerton has had plenty of practice fathering over the last 30 years. He shares what he’s learned in the wry “Pappadaddy’s Book for New Fathers: Advice for Dads of All Ages.”
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This Father’s Day brings a sizable crop of books aimed at the dad. Here’s a sampling:
“Captain Dad: The Manly Art of Stay-At-Home Parenting,” by Pat Byrnes
What it is: An illustrated account of raising children as the chief care provider, aimed at that small but growing fraternity of full-time dads.
Sample: About staying at home, Byrnes writes, “One in 2 (dads) says he’d do it; but only 1 in 163 actually does it. What does that tell you? Exactly! It tells you that, in any sex-related situation, men lie.”
“Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City,” by Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson
What it is: A detailed, academic look at unwed fatherhood, including interviews of more than 100 men, showing the obstacles facing low-income dads.
Sample: “By examining the unfolding stories of these men’s lives beginning at courtship, and moving through conception, birth, and beyond, we come to see that the ‘hit and run’ image of unwed fatherhood … is a caricature and not an accurate rendering.”
“A Dude’s Guide to Babies: The New Dad’s Playbook,” by Richard Jones and Barry Robert Ozer
What it is: A breezy guide to the early years that insists on calling babies “little dudes” and “dudettes.”
Sample: “(The book) was born from a panicked conversation between Richard and Barry. Richard, the wily veteran with three little dudes, was trying to console Barry, who’d just gone from DINK (double income, no kids) to adoptive dad of four in the blink of six months.”
“Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff,” by Scott Bedford
What it is: Short on advice and long on do-it-yourself, this is a graphic, illustrated manual for making such projects as the Rubber Band Rocket Car with the sorts of materials that are usually around the house (or easily acquired at the craft store).
Sample: Get your glue-gun ready (and your cardboard, magic markers, paper cups and toilet paper rolls) and build the Spaghetti & Marshmallow Eiffel Tower, the Ratapult, and the Jelly Bean Reward Rocket.
“Norman Rockwell’s Treasury for Fathers,” published by Abrams Books
What it is: One hundred of Norman Rockwell’s popular illustrations paired with poems, songs and short stories.
Sample: William Butler Yeats’ “A Prayer for My Daughter” and “If” by Rudyard Kipling are among the poetic offerings accompanying Rockwell’s memorable images.