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A Tale of Two Daddies Hardcover – April 28, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In an affectionate story of adoption in a gay family, a small girl answers a friend's questions about what it is like to have two fathers. The boy asks: “Which dad would build your home in a tree? And which dad helps when you skin your knee?” And the girl answers: “Poppa's the one who builds in a tree. / Daddy's the one who fixes my knee.” The simple, immediate rhymes are illustrated with digitally touched linoleum prints in bright colors and thick black lines that show the friends at play, as well as cozy scenarios of the girl in her nurturing home; in one particularly warm scene, Poppa serves a plate of eggs and bacon that looks like a smiley face. Strangely, the adults' faces are never shown, just distant views of their legs and arms: one daddy is formally dressed, the other is in jeans and sneakers. The story's message is clear in her answer to the question, “Who is your dad when you're sad and need some love?” Both, of course. Preschool-Grade 2. --Hazel Rochman

About the Author

 Vanita Oelschlager is a wife, mother, grandmother, philanthropist, former teacher, current caregiver, author and poet. She is a graduate of Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio, where she currently serves as a Trustee. Vanita is also Writer in Residence for the Literacy Program at The University of Akron.

Kristin Blackwood is an experienced illustrator. Some of her other books include My Grampy Can’t Walk; Let Me Bee; Big Blue; Made In China; What Pet Will I Get?; Ivy in Bloom and Ivan’s Great Fall. She uses a linoleum reduction technique for creating the illustrations for this story. Kristin lives in Lakewood, Ohio, with her two daughters.



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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 42 pages
  • Publisher: Vanita Books (April 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981971458
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981971452
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.4 x 11.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Robert Scofield on February 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We are a 2 dad household and have about four 2 dad books. This is by far the best one! This is cute and our daughter asks us to read it often. The illustrations are well done and the diologue is cute. The only complaint I would have is the little girl in the story is nameless and our little girl always asks what her name is. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Agent Double M on October 14, 2013
Format: Paperback
A TALE OF TWO DADDIES is a picture book for young children to show them that families with parents of the same gender are no different than any other household. Because one parent might cook dinner while the other coaches the kid's soccer team like any other family (oh God that came out wrong). The story rhymes, so a typical two page spread will be like "Poppa's the one when I need braids. Daddy is there when I'm afraid."

I enjoyed the illustrations. They were very colorful and the style reminded me of Schultz's PEANUTS.

The books is 42 pages long and honestly I think that's rather long. After a while of repetitive examples of how same-sex couples are amazing parents in rhyme... it gets really boring. It doesn't help that whoever is in charge did not vary where the text is placed to make the book slightly more interesting as you go through it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary Lavers (in Canada) on February 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a simple story about a little girl with two daddies: Daddy and Poppa. When a boy on the playground asks her what it's like having two dads, he wants to know things like "Who tucks you in at night? Which one helps with homework? Which one braids your hair?" The little girl happily explains which of her day-to-day activities are best performed by Daddy, Poppa or both (or, in the case of staying up late or helping her match her socks, neither). The little girl's life is happy, secure and, of course, completely normal.

I particularly liked that the illustrations were very reminiscent of primers from the 1950's. Normally I'm not a fan of children's book illustrations that look too dated, but in this case I think it's good for the story. It references an idealistic vision of Americana with nuclear families and houses in the suburbs (both children look like they could have stepped right out of Family Circus or Dick and Jane) and subtly reinforces the message that families with same-sex parents fit in perfectly well with this ideal, thank-you very much. I also liked that it wasn't focusing on her not having a mommy, but on how great it was to have two parents who loved her and were each good at different things.

I read this book with my three-year-old daughter Magda, who lives with her mother and father (that's me! and her dad!) but who understands that different families have different dynamics. The thing she liked most about it? Thinking about which parent was best at which things. She liked that the little girl in the story was loved and had people looking out for her.
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Format: Hardcover
(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic copy of this book for review through NetGalley.)

When a young girl’s classmate inquires about her two daddies, the pair go through a rhyming checklist of tasks to see which daddy – Poppa or Daddy – will likely come to her aid in each scenario.

Who’s the dad who helps with homework?
And which dad helps when you’re covered in dirt?
Both my dads help with my math.
But Poppa’s the dad who helps in the bath.

While it soon becomes clear that each father has his own special strengths and areas of expertise (just as with same-sex couples), there’s no shortage of TLC in this family.

This picture book pairs catchy verses with bold, vivid digital graphics to impart a message that’s as simple as it is (sadly) necessary. It’s a heartwarming little book that’s sure to appeal to younger readers.

Though I feel a little weird singling out a book with such a small cast of characters (two; four if you include the dads, who only appear as disembodied arms and legs) for lack of racial diversity, I think it’s worth noting that the girl and her friend are both light-skinned – a fact which might limit this book’s appeal to white families.

I viewed this on my laptop (a .pdf file accessed through NetGalley) – but the artwork is so clean, and the text so sparse, that it seems like it should be easy to read on a Kindle as well. That said, you’re sure to get the maximum aesthetic impact with a PC, laptop, iPad, or similar device.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a cute book about a little girl with two daddies. In simple rhyming text, a boy asks her which of her dads helps her do certain things, from building a tree house to helping with homework. Some things her Poppa does. Some things her Daddy does. Some things both dads do, and sometimes neither one does it because she does it on her own. The responses are similar to that of a child with any two parents. One often does one thing, one does another and they both do some. Whether the two parents are mother/father, momma/mommy, or poppa/daddy it is clear they are a loving set of parents. It is wonderful to see children so accepting of whatever family dynamic their friend has. The bright, humorous, illustrations show us the little boy and the little girl talking, shifting to pictures of her doing activities with her dads. We never see the dads' faces, only their hands or from the chest-down. This gives an emphasis on the girl and her loving experiences with her fathers. It is unfortunate that the attitude of acceptance we are all born with, changes as we get older and have different experiences. A great story to teach acceptance of all families to children. The rhyming and the illustrations will endear themselves to anyone reading this book.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for this honest review.
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