Should there be a dad?

Use this forum to discuss the July 2018 Book of the Month "Toni the Superhero" by R.D. Base
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Miriam Molina
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Should there be a dad?

Post by Miriam Molina » 01 Jul 2018, 16:01

Toni is shown enjoying many activities with Mom and his friends. I appreciate that family and friendship are subtly depicted as joyful experiences. But hey, we don't see Dad!

Do you agree with me that a dad would be a wonderful addition to the story? Dads should be shown as interested in their children's everyday lives. Maybe Dad could join as the dishwasher. What a resounding message that would send!

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Post by Mjgarrison » 02 Jul 2018, 01:23

I agree it would be good to add Dad into one of them, but maybe this book is showing diversity with only one parent, or maybe Dad’s out at work.

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Post by bb587 » 02 Jul 2018, 07:37

Technically, it doesn't mention mom either. We see two women. Either could be an aunt, sister, or babysitter. The dancer and dishwasher look like different people to me. Also, there's a tall man in the pool that could be dad.

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Post by AKWABS90 » 02 Jul 2018, 07:44

:D
it has to be a dad to make harmony and Negotiable family even though is out of work

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Post by kfwilson6 » 02 Jul 2018, 09:43

I think the assumption by most children would be that one of the women is the mom and one is the sister. I don't think it's a big deal that Toni wasn't shown with a character that would easily be assumed to be the dad. Base didn't particularly emphasize time with family. So it would be nice, but I don't think it's any major point right now after this first book. if we keep seeing Toni's "mom" in future installments and no father-figure, that may not be good or it may be Base's way of introducing modern families that don't have the typical mom-dad-kids structure.

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Post by P Reefer » 02 Jul 2018, 12:28

Miriam Molina wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 16:01
Toni is shown enjoying many activities with Mom and his friends. I appreciate that family and friendship are subtly depicted as joyful experiences. But hey, we don't see Dad!

Do you agree with me that a dad would be a wonderful addition to the story? Dads should be shown as interested in their children's everyday lives. Maybe Dad could join as the dishwasher. What a resounding message that would send!
Miriam, I think its a superb idea to have a dad that way Dad's might be more inclined to read this story to or with their toddlers.

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Post by Dael Reader » 02 Jul 2018, 14:43

Yes. A dad would be a great addition to the book. It would also be good to note exactly who each character pictured is (mom, sister, uncle or otherwise.) There are plenty of children's stories that depict single parents (nearly all Disney films and many fairy tales for instance). And there are also many books that depict dads as either absent (temporarily or permanently) or uninvolved with the child's life. I like to believe that most modern dads don't just go to work, earn money, and leave the moms to do the work of taking care of the kids. So any books that could show both moms and dads being involved with their children would be refreshing.

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Post by bobbiebryner » 02 Jul 2018, 15:07

I completely support father engagement in the family. For many kids, a two-parent family living in the same home is not a reality. I think that many children would not be able to relate to the "traditional nuclear family" idea. Those children may feel that they could be "superheroes" except that they don't have a mom and dad living together. I think that a dad or a male role model should be involved. There are so many single dads out there as well. Perhaps it would be good if Tony's dad was involved in the story but not necessarily depicted with mom. If each were depicted separately, then children could draw their own conclusions about whether they were together or not.

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Post by Helen_Combe » 02 Jul 2018, 16:46

It didn’t occur to me that a dad was missing but now you mention it...
I think the author was promising more books. Maybe a dad will appear in a later one. I like the idea of a nuclear family.
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Post by FictionLover » 02 Jul 2018, 19:15

:cooking: I like the idea of having dad around helping with the chores.

But the more I think about it, the more I am having a hard time trying to think of books for this age group that show a whole family who isn't made up animals. Lyle Crocodile, the Berenstain Bears, Peter Rabbit (wait, did Peter Rabbit have a father?), Curious George (he had the man in the yellow hat.

Maybe it is well past time that Dad is represented.
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Post by holsam_87 » 03 Jul 2018, 00:31

While having a dad involved would be a good thing, that is just one side of the coin. Having Toni do the chores may be prepping him for the more typically male based stuff. His Dad might just be the main breadwinner or even a complete workaholic
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Post by Charlaigne » 03 Jul 2018, 22:19

This is the first time I realised the dad figure was missing! For the record, a dad and some siblings would make the story more interesting. Maybe even a pet (and showing pet-related chores). We don't know what the author intended so will have to wait to see where she goes next.

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Post by Helen_Combe » 04 Jul 2018, 01:11

FictionLover wrote:
02 Jul 2018, 19:15
:cooking: I like the idea of having dad around helping with the chores.

But the more I think about it, the more I am having a hard time trying to think of books for this age group that show a whole family who isn't made up animals. Lyle Crocodile, the Berenstain Bears, Peter Rabbit (wait, did Peter Rabbit have a father?), Curious George (he had the man in the yellow hat.

Maybe it is well past time that Dad is represented.
You’re absolutely right. Kanga in Winnie The Pooh was a single parent too.
Mind you, stats say that in the UK, one quarter of families are now single parent, so it may hurt those children who feel they should be aspiring to something that’s beyond their control. Also single dad families are very poorly represented, though there is Spike and his son in the old Tom and Jerry cartoons.
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Post by FictionLover » 04 Jul 2018, 08:32

Helen_Combe wrote:
04 Jul 2018, 01:11
FictionLover wrote:
02 Jul 2018, 19:15
:cooking: I like the idea of having dad around helping with the chores.

But the more I think about it, the more I am having a hard time trying to think of books for this age group that show a whole family who isn't made up animals. Lyle Crocodile, the Berenstain Bears, Peter Rabbit (wait, did Peter Rabbit have a father?), Curious George (he had the man in the yellow hat.

Maybe it is well past time that Dad is represented.
You’re absolutely right. Kanga in Winnie The Pooh was a single parent too.
Mind you, stats say that in the UK, one quarter of families are now single parent, so it may hurt those children who feel they should be aspiring to something that’s beyond their control. Also single dad families are very poorly represented, though there is Spike and his son in the old Tom and Jerry cartoons.
Very observant, I never thought of Kanga as a single parent, but a lot of children's literature seems focused on the children, and leave the parents to the side. Just like Christopher Robin, I assume he had parents, I don't remember him being an orphan, but they are not discussed.

My son loved Winnie the Pooh! We had books, tapes (now would be CDs) and videos.
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Post by Kibetious » 04 Jul 2018, 11:54

I suppose that adding a dad to the story would be very important. But the story is still good as it is. Perhaps the book is communicating about what Psychology teaches as a fact that boys will normally be drawn to their mothers more easily and that the vice versa is also true. I admit however that a father would really be important because it is very probable that some kids while reading this book may raise such a question.
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