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If you were a radio-owner on planet Earth circa 1998, you might have a hard time not bobbing your head--and, yes, maybe even rapping--along with this book from Will "Big Willie Style" Smith and illustrator Kadir Nelson.
That's because the words for Just the Two of Us are lifted from the lyrics to Smith's smash-hit single of the same name, a remake of the Bill Withers classic. True to the song, this radiantly drawn picture book follows a father as he watches his son grow into a man. Tender imagery (especially for hip-hop) details the dad's early, unfamiliar struggles with everything from child car seats to CD-ROMs, his aspirations ("Sometimes I wonder what you're gonna be, a general, a doctor, maybe an MC"), his worries ("Ooh there ain't no pain like from the opposite sex"), and his attempts to impart wisdom ("Always tell the truth, say your prayers, hold doors, pull out chairs, easy on the swears").
Nelson, whose work has appeared in everything from Sports Illustrated to The New Yorker, seems an ideal foil for Smith's colloquial stylings, contributing rich, vibrantly colored spreads that evocatively capture the subject matter without being overly sentimental. A must for fans of Will Smith, especially "all the fathers out there holdin' it down" (to whom Smith gives "special props"). (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Very cute book. I bought this for my boyfriend and his son. It's just the lyrics of the song, but a nice book for a man and his son to have.Published 4 months ago by Lauren S
Love Will Smith, an endearing book to his son, just not what I thought. References spanking, which I didn't want to read out loud to my 4 year old. Read morePublished 13 months ago by M. C.
This is soooo Will Smith in form, love the story line. I could hear his voice while reading this. Very cute and encouraging for father and son relationships.Published 15 months ago by Dionne Francis
Didn't realize that it's acutally the song Will Smith had, so they just put it in a book. It's ok.Published 18 months ago by Tracee
great book for my little boy and his dad to read. It made them bond a little bit more I loved itPublished 19 months ago by Kanesha Patterson
Son is a huge fan of Jaden Smith so when he found out that Will Smith wrote it, he was too happy. He sings the chorus every time we read the story together.Published 23 months ago by R.C.