Daddy and Me, Side by Side
By Pierce Freelon
Illustrated by Nadia Fisher
Little, Brown and Company
Page Count: 40
It’s time for a father and son to go camping in “Daddy and Me, Side by Side.”
With backpacks and fishing poles, they look forward to their adventure. Time together provides an opportunity for Dad to remember when he was a youngster going camping with his father. The son learns some of the things his Dad learned from Pop-Pop. Walking trails, crossing creeks, jumping from rock to rock, and digging for worms are what this Dad now does with his son.
“Daddy and Me, Side by Side,” is a multigenerational look at bonding through remembrances, which is autobiographical for Freelon.
“My Dad was a very sweet man. He was loving, nurturing, funny, caring and creative,” said Freelon, nominated in 2022 for Best Children’s Music Album.
This book is written in a lyrical rhyming style. Illustrations are bright, then soothing, especially when the son thinks about missing his Pop-Pop.
“Daddy and Me, Side by Side” is a follow-up to Freelon’s book “Daddy-Daughter Day.”
Creativity is in Freelon’s DNA. He is the son of the late Philip Freelon, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture lead architect, and Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon. This book brings the reader into the Freelon circle of love.
A Boy Learns to Tie His Blue Sneakers
Written and Illustrated by Anthony Tilghman
Ages 5 and up
Page Count: 24
In his sixth book, Anthony Tilghman tackles a trial many children face– tying shoelaces.
The main character: “A Boy Learns to Tie His Blue Sneakers,” had never learned to tie his blue sneakers. However, learning to tie his laces was necessary. With them untied, he would continue to fall and could not enjoy the full pleasures of being a kid, such as playing with friends.
The book is a fun way to give instructions for the basics in life. Tilghman keeps children interested by rhyming sentences.
“I know a lot of kids who are learning to tie their shoes,” said Tilghman. “A lot of kids are visual learners, so I wanted to do a step-by-step approach.”
A bonus at the end of “A Boy Learns to Tie His Blue Sneakers” are learning activities that include connect-the-dot images, word-matching exercises, and alphabet writing.
“I wanted to catch people to keep learning and keep practicing,” said Tilghman.
Proceeds from Tilghman’s book sales go toward his nonprofit Make Smart Cool. The organization puts in thousands of hours offering programs for children. Community outreach includes hosting boys and girls reading clubs at the District Heights, Maryland library, donating backpacks with school supplies and awarding scholarships. For Tilghman, it is all about the children.