Thursday, May 08, 2008

More Books: The Baby Bonding Book for Dads

So this is turning out to be book review month around here. Increasingly, book publishers have begun sending me books about fatherhood (or parenthood more generally) in the hopes that I'll a) read 'em and b) give 'em a glowing review, thereby making back in free publicity the couple of Hamiltons spent sending me the book. The latest to try that gambit is the nice folks behind the Baby Bonding Book for Dads, which is a brief and gorgeously photographed book about, um, baby bonding for dads.

The book weighs in at less than 100 pages, and it seems to be mostly a delivery mechanism for the photos of dads and babies, which make even the act of being peed on seem somehow luminous. The text is nothing particularly revolutionary -- good, solid advice that will make perfect sense to anyone who has been through the whole baby thing before.

I'm at a loss of where this book fits, exactly, in the fatherhood canon. It's not at all tongue-in-cheek. It's not practical on the level of a lot of the literature out there. The overriding message (fatherhood is natural and fulfilling) is not particularly novel, though presented beautifully. So my overarching conclusion -- and I'll come back to this in posts to come -- is that the book assumes that there is a certain level of interest in the nuts-and-bolts of fatherhood. The existence a demographic group -- of dads, would-be dads and the people who love them -- who are in the market for a glossy-paged celebration of new fatherhood is nothing but a good thing.

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