Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fathers and Children: A Book Review, Giveaway, and Activity

The bond between a father and his child is a special one.
Fathers are teachers, playmates, and best friends. Fathers are a source of stability, security, and guidance.
As I pause to reflect on what would have been my father’s seventy-ninth birthday, I realize how great my father’s impact was on the person I am today. He wore many hats as he guided me from childhood to adulthood.
Daddy donned a baseball cap as he organized family wiffle ball games played in the backyard of our Berryville home.
He wore a chef’s hat as he taught me how to create a delicious meal for a large family of 7.
He wore a construction hard hat as he transformed the shell of our Midland house into a home—not only building strong walls but also creating strong bonds of love and a sense of belonging.

Now that my father is no longer with me, I understand how important it is to fill my own hat rack with hats of every shape, size, and purpose. I realize that every moment we spent together, no matter how seemingly insignificant, created a hat for me to add to my own collection.
Thank you, Daddy, for building a wonderfully full hat rack.
In memory of my father, I created today’s activity—an opportunity to shine the light on the moments that help shape a child. I selected a book that represents the many roles a father plays in the lives of their children as the springboard for this activity.
My Father is Taller than a Tree, written by Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin, is a book that explores the many hats that all fathers wear. The book highlights tender and memorable moments experienced between fathers and their children. Those moments are as varied as the father-son duos represented—raking leaves, an errand run, a visit to the local park, and many more.
Told in rhyme, the story meanders through those meaningful occasions. With their soft-toned palette, Halperin’s illustrations blend perfectly with the Bruchac’s words that glide across each page spread. Together they provide a cozy and comfortable story that is perfect as a bedtime story.
Just as the story used for my last book review, My Father is Taller than a Tree will definitely provide a learning experience for both parents and their children.

The Details:
Recommended ages: 3-7
Word count: 198
Average words per two page spread: 14
Extra value: Provides a springboard for discussions on what a child views as important.

 This activity is loosely structured. The focus is on developing parent/child activities that create a positive memory for both the child and the parent.
Book: My Father is Taller than a Tree (available on Amazon)
Printout of tree (provided)
Colored copy paper in 2 colors*
Repositionable adhesive
*Hint: It is not recommended to use basic construction paper. The paper may pull apart as the leaf clusters are removed from the tree. Colored copy paper or colored card stock work better for this activity and can be reused.

 1. Read and discuss the story.
2. Create a list of 5 to 7 things that your child likes to do with you.
3. Create a list of 5 to 7 things that you like to do with your child.
4. Randomly cut 7 of each color paper to place on the tree. One color will be used to record your child’s activity choices. The other color will be used to record your activity choices.
5. Write the activities on the paper cutouts, as shown.
6. Apply repositionable adhesive to the back of the papers and place them on the tree.**
7. Over the next two weeks, take turns selecting and completing activities from the tree.

**This activity can be easily modified to reflect changes of the seasons. In the fall, use orange, red, or yellow paper. As the activities are completed, scatter them at the bottom of the tree to resemble piles of leaves. In the spring, add lighter shades of green, adding the leaf clusters to the tree as the activities are completed.

*This giveaway will include a free copy of MY FATHER IS TALLER THAN A TREE (Joseph Bruchac and Wendy Anderson Halperin), as well as another surprise. The registration will last from the posting of this blog post until midnight, August 13, 2013. One winner will be randomly selected from all entries. The book will be shipped from Amazon within approximately 2 weeks following the close of the giveaway. The giveaway is open to residents of the United States with a United State’s mailing address. The winner’s name will be posted on the blog, unless the winner chooses not to have his/her name posted.

Giveaway Update: Congratulations to Lynn and Linda as the winners of this month's giveaway.



  1. Wonderful ideas DEb :)

  2. Thank you. Stayed tuned for more fun in August. Remind your little ones to put on their thinking caps for the upcoming school year. I have mine ready to go, too.

  3. Wonderful - I'll have to buy this book as my youngest grandson adores his Daddy!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Thank you for the opportunity to win such an awesome book. I registered to win a copy for my brother and my niece Stella.

  5. Thank you so much. I have you my info.