The long weekend allowed me to get caught up on all my essential reading: the May editions of the Carnival of Children’s Literature and The Edge of the Forest and, tipped off by A Fuse #8 Production, Else-Marie and Her Seven Little Daddies.
I like this book, and so does seven-year-old S. My wife, not so much. Maybe she’s imagining how many books and papers and CDs would be scattered around the house if there were six more of me.
But two-year-old F loves it. It’s been his requested bedtime story three nights running, ever since I brought it home from the library on Saturday. He’ll point at the pictures and narrate, “Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy…” Author/illustrator Pija Lindenbaum may have stopped at seven, but F doesn’t.
As I writer, the thing I most admire about this book is its absurdity, something I feel like I’ve lost touch with in my own writing, or else just don’t tap into enough. And I don’t know that Lindenbaum was deliberately using absurdity to make any sort of social statement when this book was published 15 years ago, but it’s easy to see how an author could use a book like this to say to the Know-Nothings, “You’ve got a problem with a child in a picture book having two daddies? OK — what about seven?”
Really — why would anyone waste their time going after such small-time offenders as And Tango Makes Three and King & King & Family when there’s a book running around loose out there with seven daddies in it?