Book Bag: ‘I Wonder’ by Doyin Richards; ‘Sweet Breath of Memory’ by Ariella Cohen

Thursday, June 09, 2016


By Doyin Richards

Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan



He might be one of the more famous fathers in the United States these days.

Doyin Richards, Amherst Regional High School class of 1992, became an Internet sensation a few years ago after he posted a picture of himself fixing his young daughter’s hair for school while holding a second daughter, an infant, in a child carrier against his chest. He did it, he joked at the time, to prove to his wife that he could actually handle the kind of tasks women usually take on.

That picture went viral, and Richards has since become a sought-after spokesman for responsible, engaged fatherhood under the rubric “Daddy Doin’ Work,” with a book and a popular blog on the subject, numerous media appearances and interviews, and regular public speeches. He gave the commencement address last year at ARHS.

Richards, who lives in Los Angeles, has now written his first children’s book, “I WONDER: Celebrating Daddies Doin’ Work,” which profiles engaged fatherhood by using numerous pictures of dads spending time with their young kids: pushing them on swings, cooking food together, holding them in a pool or the ocean, or just lying on the grass.

Along with those pictures, Richards adds a first-person narrative in which dads describe to their children why they do the things they do. For a picture of a father and daughter posing in costumes, he writes, “I WONDER if you like my silly voices when I read to you. I do it because I want you to use your imagination to know that anything can come to life as long as you want it to.”

And for a picture of a father helping his son pour water into a mixing bowl, he writes, “I WONDER if you enjoy seeing me work my magic in the kitchen. I do it because I want you to know that it’s normal and expected for a dad to prepare meals for his kids.”

The photos come from some of Richards’ many followers on social media, who would seem to share a thought he includes on the inside jacket of his new book: “Fatherhood is the coolest and most rewarding gig a man will ever have in his lifetime.”

Doyin Richards will read from his new book and speak with children Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Amherst Regional Middle School. Pizza and cupcakes will be served, and the first 50 families will receive a gift bag. Rsvp at 362-1820 or rosse@arps.org.