cover image Dad of the Dad of the Dad of Your Dad

Dad of the Dad of the Dad of Your Dad

Jeffrey Moss, Jeff Moss. Ballantine Books, $18 (112pp) ISBN 978-0-345-38591-8

Just in time for Father's Day, these nine rhyming stories about kids and their fathers will appeal to those who find unadulterated sentimentality a virtue. From the initial story about a prehistoric father and son who discover the pleasures of skipping stones together to the dilemma of the McFuzz family ""in the year thirteen thousand six hundred and eight,"" Moss (The Butterfly Jar, also illustrated by Demarest) romps through history, liberally sprinkling anachronisms and rhymes with blithe enthusiasm. Gloog's caveman father tells her about his rough childhood (""And speaking of tires, how would you feel/ If you'd lived before they invented the wheel?""); and Francisco de Morra, returning from Bora Bora in his brave ship The Dora, chooses to stay home to be near his children, Marco and Flora. Most of these verses would undoubtedly sound better sung than read, and although sometimes ameliorated by humor and invariably leavened by Demarest's giggly, fast-moving line drawings, Moss's didactic intent is explicit. Philomen is teased by friends whose fathers are more famous than his, but ""if you visit the greatest museums,"" you can still see the jars made by Philo's father. The story about the Pilgrim father who moves his family across the ocean ends with the caution, ""So... if moving makes your heart feel sad,/ Don't get angry at poor old Dad./ Instead, think of what might happen to you/ If you lived back in 1622."" All ages. (June)