This is my favorite children’s book. I love everything about it from the simple sketches to how Shel Silverstein tells a story that spans from a boy’s childhood to his adult life.
Another reason I love this book
My father signed it in 1983 when I was seven years old. I probably didn’t appreciate it then. It wasn’t a Beach Blast Barbie or an Alvin and the Chipmunks record. But it’s irreplaceable now and it sits meticulously on my bookshelf for all to see. It’s stamped by the man who had the most impact on my early formative years.
He taught me how to throw a ball like a boy, read my Bible chapter by chapter, cast a rod and reel and make up rhyming songs that we thought were hilarious. He endured my lengthy conversations about indignant boyfriends, the perils of clumpy mascara and why clothes were the most important thing next to Aqua Net hairspray.
As a young girl I depended on him and he didn’t disappoint. I perched myself on his broad shoulders when I was too small to see ahead, I’d hand him my book bag when it was too heavy to carry and I’d walk through the doors of his office and go straight to his “candy drawer” that he had stashed full of goodies.
Today I still need his sturdy shoulders to hoist my kids in a packed car and his listening ear as I ramble on about life. I watch him from a distance and realize the years have been kind. He is still handsome and strong. His hair has lessened and his smile is framed in thin wrinkles, but he has worn his 50’s very well.
These days we enjoy a good game of Scrabble and “How are you?” phone calls. In our conversations I don’t tell him thank you enough. So, today I’ll say it, thanks dad.