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Big Shoes: In Celebration of Dads and Fatherhood Hardcover – May 5, 2005

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This collection of honest, straightforward examinations of fathers is sweet and well-meaning, though sometimes overwhelming in its sentiment. It shares father-child remembrances—of seeing movies together, eating sandwiches together, singing show tunes in the pool together—from Roker and other celebrities and quasi-celebrities, including actor B.D. Wong, NPR's Nina Totenberg, singer/songwriter Bonnie Raitt, wine maker Robert Mondavi and Roker's Today Show buddies Katie Couric, Ann Curry and Matt Lauer. Nearly every essay explores fatherhood from the point of view of a son or daughter, though the Daily Show's Jon Stewart explains it from a dad's standpoint. The key to paternity, he says, is low expectations: "I just hope that when I look at [my young son], he doesn't cry. In that sense, I've already achieved my goal." Donald Trump's one-pager reveals that his father taught him to "be responsible," while many other stories pertain to dad's encouragement, like LPGA Hall of Famer Amy Alcott's tale of how her pops taught her "everything was possible." Indeed, the book brims with happy memories, although there's the occasional regretful remembrance, too. In the final piece, Roker reminds readers that when dad's no longer here, it's up to his kids to fill his "Big Shoes" and keep walking. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

According to Roker, the jolly (though less rotund than he once was) weatherman on Today, fathers don't get the attention they deserve. Who, for instance, mouths "Hi, Dad" into a television camera? To help fathers everywhere raise themselves up a few rungs on the familial hierarchy, Roker and about 40 of his closest friends tell their own dad stories. There's Katie Couric and Matt Lauer, of course, with Katie talking about how her dad instilled in her the capacity for curiosity and Matt remembering how his dad showed respect for his mom even after their divorce. But there are some unexpected, diverse names here, too, like Vijay Singh (his father was a casual golfer on Fiji, where the sport was rarely played), Donald Trump (his father taught him to be responsible), and Susan Lucci (she compares her loving, compassionate father to her soap character's monstrous dad). The stories range from silly to funny to heartfelt (the recent death of Bonnie Raitt's father, John, for example, adds poignancy to her reflections). From sports figures to journalists to entertainment stars, the words of these various celebrities effectively make Roker's case for the importance of fatherhood--and, not incidentally, should make the book a popular gift item this June. Mary Frances Wilkens
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books (May 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401301711
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401301712
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,936,200 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

In addition to being known to over thirty million viewers for his work on NBC's Today show, a role that has earned him ten Emmy awards, Al Roker is a bestselling author with many acclaimed books to his credit.

His first book, "Don't Make Me Stop This Car: Adventures in Fatherhood" spent weeks atop the New York Times best-seller list. In May 2002, "Al Roker's Big Bad Book of Barbecue" was published and, quickly became a summer blockbuster hit. His second cookbook, "Al Roker's Hassle Free Holiday Cookbook", became a huge success as it prepared America's budding chefs for the holidays. "Big Shoes: In Celebration of Dads and Fatherhood" honors fathers and their contributions to lives of their children. Working in fiction, Roker's trilogy of murder mysteries are exciting crime novels that revolve around a fictional TV program much like TODAY. His 2013 book, "Never Goin' Back-Winning The Weight Loss Battle For Good" was a NY Times Bestseller and told Al's personal struggles with his own weight, bariatric surgery, and diet/nutrition.

Al's latest book is "The Storm Of The Century: Tragedy, Heroism, Survival, and the Epic True Story of America's Deadliest Natural Disaster: The Great Gulf Hurricane of 1900" is available August 11 from Harper-Collins

A New York resident with his wife and three children, Al can also be seen on The Weather Channel's "Wake Up With Al," in addition to the TODAY Show.

Follow Al on Twitter @AlRoker.
Like his Facebook page, "Books By Al Roker"
Visit Al's website:

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Al Roker along with his friends expressed love, compassion and admiration for their fathers. Al made the statement that he always thought his father would be here. Isn't that so true? We think that dads will always be around. To hear others, such as Katie Couric, B.D. Wong share their thoughts, memories and feelings of their Dads allows us to see what characters traits were inherited and developed. This is a great read and a perfect gift.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ana Finn on June 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books about fathers I have ever read. It is a good variety of people not just stars but authors, etc. And the stories are not all happy but are honest and the fathers all taught or left the authors with lessons and or memories that they have carried with them and now shared with us. And Al so nicely compiled for us. It is a great read and a great gift for husbands, brothers or sons. It is a good re-read so a good keeper for the book shelf.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alissa Hoyt on July 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a must read for dads, it will make you cry, make you laugh, and give new perspective.

Lots of different passages written by many different well known stars, but never too cute. Just right!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By We Race Horses on June 18, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book for my husband for his birthday and together, we love it and so do the kids. It's a keen picture of heartfelt feelings right down to the humor. Our birthdays are on the same day making the days a little more special to us. He bought me a family book too, Mommy CEO, and we both love it as well since it helps us both with our kids ages 2 to almost 10, and has heartfelt messages mixed in.

Both books make a great gift for year round giving and my dad, will get his own copy of both on his birthday, maybe even one for Father's Day. He keeps the kids for us and is like a dad to the two oldest anyway. I'm not sure if people would think of these two books as gifts for the people that they are really not marketed to, but I find it's good for husbands to read family books and grandparents too and the same with Big Shoes, moms should read it and granddads too. Just my opinion as our family adores both books. Great gifts!
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