Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Daddies by Janet Frank illustrated by Tibor Gergely

What do daddies do all day? Daddies work while children play! They are doctors and construction workers, tailors, barbers and chefs. They work in offices and grocery stores, factories and schools. Daddies can do anything! But what's their favourite part of the day? Coming home and spending time with their children.

I was surprised to see that this book was reissued and reprinted in May of 2011; it seems so totally like a relic from another era. I haven't seen the new edition, so I don't know if any changes were made to the text or illustrations. The copy I have is from my mom's era (and in fact was my mother's, with her childish printing of her name in the front cover). The rhyme scheme has stuck in my head for twenty years (although I did conflate some of the lines with the Sesame Street song What Do People Do All Day?). The illustrations are lovely and colourful and I can see how they would be very appealing to a child. The book is an interesting look at the work world in 1954. With a few exceptions, the images set at workplaces are completely devoid of women. Women can be nurses and actors/singers, but that's about it. I don't quite believe this reality, but am intrigued by the messages that it sends to kids. The look at men and gender roles and family roles make this an interesting book to look at, but for today's kids, it might be better to look for something a bit more modern.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
Little Mother by Sharon Kane
Daddies by Lila Prap
Daddy Kisses by Anne Gutman


  1. Hi, I have an original copy of this book that I read to my son - but some over-zealous previous owner has cut out a couple of the pictures, leaving a couple of pages incomplete. A bit of a random request, but could you please fill in for me what it is the baker daddies do, and exactly how the book finishes? I always say 'they love to come back home to us!' - am I close? I know it's a bit of a gender issue these days, but it is a very sweet book, and I'd love to have the complete text! Thanks!

  2. No problem! (Sorry for the delay - I was on vacation and away from the book)

    Baker daddies: "Some Daddies help us keep well-fed. They make buns and cakes and bread."

    Ending: "But when they've worked the whole day through, what do they like best to do? By taxi, train, by car and bus, Daddy rushes home - to us!"

    I hope that helps!