Coy, John. Dads . Wing Young Huie, Illus. Picture Book. Carolrhoda, 04/2020. pp. $19.99, 978-1-5415-7839-5, OUTSTANDING, GRADES TOD-2.
In Dads, Coy and Huie take a collection of photographs paired with sparse text and create a moving picture book highlighting the meaningful things fathers do everyday for their families. Inspired by a photo of his own father, Huie has gathered an impressive collection of images featuring diverse families from varied cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds. Each image—some b&w white and others in color—capture a moment in time and are rich with visual details that cue readers into the specific culture and environment of each family without the use of any written descriptors. Standing out among similar photo collections, these images uniquely reflect the lives of lower-income families in blue-collar jobs and inner-city environments among other settings. The book’s short text, well-suited for toddlers through early readers, uses simple phrases such as “they laugh and play” to broadly describe fathers. Though authentically representative, one photograph captures a man holding an unlit cigarette while laughing joyfully with a child—a detail which some may find distracting regardless of authenticity. Overall, readers will find Dads to be a unique visual representation of fathers, families, and love with room for many families to find a piece of themselves within the diverse photographs.
Diana Learned, San Jose Public Library