cover image Daddy Speaks Love

Daddy Speaks Love

Leah Henderson, illus. by E.B. Lewis. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-593-35436-0

Inspired by six-year-old Gianna Floyd’s words about her father, George Floyd, in the wake of his murder, this picture book centers the loving relationship between fathers and children. Narrating from an unnamed child’s perspective and employing the refrain “Daddy speaks,” Henderson completes the phrase with a range of qualities in turn—love, truth, joy, comfort, learning, and more—using poetic prose. “Daddy speaks FUTURE/ and of history’s long, long past,// for Black lives to matter,/ for compassion,/ and change that will last,” reads a spread featuring a Black child placing a teddy bear beneath a mural of George Floyd. Evocative washes of watercolor by Lewis present realistic portraits of children and parents of varying skin tones participating in indoor and outdoor activities, including hiking in the woods, baking in the kitchen, visiting a museum, and attending a Black Lives Matter rally, effectively depicting a paradigm of fatherhood. Back matter includes an author’s note. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)