On the first page of this book is a rap by Will Smith that summarizes what the book is going to be about. Basically, this is a love story between a father and his son.
The dad wants so badly to be the best dad possible for his child. His love is all-encompassing, protecting and freeing at the same time. He gives his son advice such as when a girl breaks your heart don’t take it out on the next one and always tell the truth. But consistently throughout the book the message is powerful, “I love you and I’m here for you.”
The book has a poetic rhythm. I’m quite sure Will Smith could rap the entire thing and make it sound even more beautiful than when I read it myself, especially since I choke up.
The illustrations are stunning, realistic paintings of an African-American family. They absolutely glow with love. Kadir Nelson captures the personalities of the father and son beautifully.
This would be a perfect Father’s Day gift or a gift for a man expecting the birth of his first son. It shows a father how to be a father, what it means to believe in your dreams and to help your child believe in his.
Even though the father and son in the book are African-American, any man who has experienced becoming a father will relate intimately to Will Smith’s touching, powerful story. What a great book to start the month. I wish I could give more than five stars.