Celebrate Father's Day with a book—June 8, 2012
June calendars are filling up with plans for picnics, vacations, baseball and on June 17, Father’s Day! Few people in our lives are more important than the men who shape our character, heal our wounds and willingly make countless sacrifices. When they reluctantly nudge us into a life of independence, they stand ready to ease the pain of inexperience and occasionally remind of us of values planted in our minds during childhood.
The first celebration for fathers took place in the early 1900s, according to Ann Heinrichs in her book “Father’s Day”. William Smart, a widower, was raising a family of six by himself. His daughter, Sonora, felt that he and other fathers deserved a day of recognition. Since her father’s birthday was in June, it seemed like the perfect month to honor fathers. Families across the country adopted the idea and in 1972, Father’s Day became an official national holiday. Although this book includes ideas for activities for Dad’s special day, my favorite pages are the ones with poems and essays.
“A Perfect Father’s Day” by Eve Bunting is about a little girl’s plans to take her dad out to celebrate his special day by doing all of her favorite activities. Of course, Dad lovingly participates.
The son, in “Today I’m Going Fishing With My Dad” by N.L. Sharp, rises early to join his father for a day of activities he despises. He dreads wriggly worms , biting insects, dodging fishing hooks and baking in the hot sun. He hates going fishing, but he loves spending time with his dad, so the discomforts he endures seem trivial in comparison.
The pastel pages with soft images in “Won’t Papa Be Surprised!” by Terri Cohlene allow the reader to sense the tenderness which exists between a father and his inquisitive daughter. All day, she peppers him with questions and all day, he answers each one with the same patient voice. Finally, she gleefully presents him with specially made Father’s Day badge and he, with a grateful smile in his heart, hands her a box of colorful hair ribbons.
The children, in “Father’s Day” by Anne Rockwell, share tales about the wonderful things their fathers do and the special traits their fathers have while they create a special gift to show their love and appreciation. This book also reminds us that some children have two fathers to shower with love.
Dad, Father, Papa…whatever you call yours, don’t forget to convey your feelings for him on his day.