The title says it all.
These tough guys are rendered in simple lines and shapes and colored in black and white, red, blue, and yellow, but they represent a broad range of virility. There are a lucha libre wrestler, two ninjas, a knight, a cowboy, and more stereotypically manly men. These tough guys are shown at emotional and sometimes scary moments: the astronaut floating in space holding a photograph of his wife and child; the superhero eating his lunch alone atop a building; the tattooed biker weeping over a dead squirrel in the road. Everyone has feelings, says the text—well, almost everyone, as the robot clipping and smashing flowers with a grim expression on its metal face indicates. In the end, it is all about the father and son, curled up together on the bed, reading together. The front endpapers show the boy in all of these guises, while the back endpapers show him in each role with his dad. The figures have varying skin tones, and while in some contexts “guys” is not a gender-specific term, everyone here reads as male, which is probably OK and no doubt intended.
Though it doesn’t exactly topple stereotypes or delve deep into questions of gender identity, Negley’s debut is nonetheless sincere. (Picture book. 4-7)