A humorous, photo-heavy look at fatherhood.
Although Engledow is currently employed by an affiliation of the AFL-CIO, he received a degree in photojournalism, which he puts to fine use here, along with a zonked sense of humor. Each two-page spread comes with a wickedly sharp photo on the right—a sly mix of the I Spy books, Norman Rockwell, William Wegman and Thomas the Tank Engine, all in a tender, faux dangerous setting—while on the left side, Engledow explains his fathering philosophy, which ranges between oblivious and demented. The author is often busy partying with his charge—his wife is often away as a result of her military work—or finding ways for her to do the work or for him not to do the work—e.g., “by simply adding a new diaper on top of the old one each morning, I had managed to keep my hands poop-free for days.” He also recounts his excitement to find some milk in the back of the refrigerator when the coffee creamer ran out—“it was a bit sweeter and thicker than our regular milk, but my coffee was amazing.” A few months later, he was a convert—“those special bottles of milk Jen leaves for Alice Bee have totally replaced the creamer I normally use.” Throughout, Engledow plays the role of a facilitator: When Alice Bee showed an interest in fire, he introduced her to lighter fluid; the delicate cycle is just the right amount of agitation to get kids clean. There are downsides, of course—“Playdates suck”—but the upside is that Alice Bee can fit inside the pumpkin to clean all the slimy stuff out.
A goofy and heart-gladdening tribute to all the joys and slings and arrows of raising a daughter.