In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers

Book review by
Ann Marie Sammataro, Common Sense Media
In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers Book Poster Image
A joyous collection of poetry about fathers.

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age 18+
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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the varied tempos, topics, and formats of the poems offer something for readers of nearly every age. Readers gain insight on both the authors' personal relationships and their collective cultural experiences as African Americans.

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What's the story?

This collection includes twelve poems from a variety of well-known African-American authors, including Angela Johnson, Sonia Sanchez, Carole Boston Weatherford, Davida Adedjouma, and David A. Anderson. The poems explore the dynamics of a father/child relationship and encompass a wide range of topics: "In Daddy's Arms" celebrates the confidence children derive from their fathers: other poems, such as "Artist to Artist," focus on dreams deferred, and in "Promises," a father vows his eternal love and devotion.

Each poem occupies a two-page spread. Several poems are printed on plain white backgrounds, with the accompanying illustrations set to the side or on the facing page. For other poems, the text is superimposed directly onto illustrations that fill the pages to the edges with color.

Is it any good?

This joyous collection of poetry is a testimony to the profound impact fathers have in shaping the lives of their children. Powerful and deeply moving, the poems resonate with a heartfelt and abiding respect for the stalwart men who play a vital role in nurturing their children's physical, spiritual, and emotional growth. The poems are perfect for read-aloud sessions.

Spectacular, vibrant collages capture the essence of the poems, distilled into evocative images wrought from mundane objects. Illustrator Javaka Steptoe's choice of materials may be eclectic, but the items in each composition are intricately connected to the writing. An affirming testament to the unique relationship between fathers and children that speaks to fathers of all races who have experienced this miraculous, precious connection, this is a fabulous addition to every bookshelf.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about fathers. What makes your father special?

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