Times I wish I had a daughter included while reading this sweet children’s book written by Isabelle Bridges-Boesch and illustrated by her father Jeff Bridges (yes, The Dude.) Little Belle wakes up one day and has a great idea that she rushes to share with her beloved dad. She announces that it’s Daddy Daughter Day, to the chagrin of her younger brother Sammie, who is Not Allowed to join. Belle and Dad embark on all sorts of backyard adventures, eventually incorporating Sammie and Mom, in a celebration of togetherness and the special bond between a girl and her father.
And while I regretted the fact that I haven’t a daughter to foist this book on, I did take solace in being lucky enough to have a dad I enjoy spending time with, tho our opportunities for same are few and far between now that we live continents apart. We did not, as Belle and her dad did, have pretend play sessions, but Dad and I certainly enjoyed reading the four important Sunday papers together in the living room — what can I say, even as a kid I was happiest when reading — then heading out to one of the malls to look around and maybe buy things and to definitely sneak eating some of the foods my figure-conscious mother did not approve of. I love that Ms Bridges-Boesch mentions in her afterword that not all Daddy Daughter Days are alike, but that the important thing is to spend quality time together.
But what I probably loved most about this book is Mr Bridges’ gorgeous art. Done mostly in pastel watercolors, the art tends towards the simple and dream-like, fitting for the subject matter. The style itself is reminiscent of Henri Matisse, invoking movement and joy. I loved how the text of the book was entirely in conversation, gracefully scrawled throughout in cursive, a nice challenge for modern kids who may not be as conversant in the handwritten font as we olds are. Regardless, the effect is one of dainty Fauvist charm, making this a lovely gift book for any daddy daughter duos.
Daddy Daughter Day comes out from Dark Horse Publishing tomorrow, October 6th, and will be available from all good booksellers.