I'm excited to have children's author Alan Sitomer on the blog today! He's here to talk about his recent release, Daddies Do It Different, a fun, heartwarming story that I highly recommend picking up this Father's Day. You'll be able to read my review later this morning here on the blog.
Hi Alan, welcome to Mundie Kids! My kids and I enjoyed Daddies Do It Different. Where some of you the moments you wrote about in your story inspired from personal ones?
What wasn’t derived from my own semi-inspired personal looniness for this book is a better question! Do I goof around at the market putting fruit up my nose in order to get a smile out of my daughter? Absolutely. Have I ever overeaten at a kid’s birthday party by having not just a second, but a third slice of birthday cake because I just couldn’t get enough of that oh-so-yummy chocolate frosting? Uh huh. Page after page of this book is rooted in a truth.
To a certain extent, the best fiction usually is.
Fatherhood has awakened in me a realization that it’s okay to admit that I am sometimes flying by the seat of my pants. Yet when it comes to my kids, all of my actions are most certainly grounded in a profound and unshakeable deep love. I feel it’s important that my daughters and I have LOTS of fun together—even when we are doing the most mundane of things, such as going to the market, brushing teeth before bed, or whatnot. Life is lived in the small moments and while sure, a yacht trip to Hawaii would be spectacular, one doesn’t need a luxury liner to share life’s most beautiful moments.
The laughs and joy in each of our hearts is worth more to me than any big boat.
What would you say is one of the things your kids enjoy that you do differently than your wife?
My wife and I do many things differently, but it’s important to note that “different” does not necessarily mean one way is “better.” My wife has her way, I have my way, and as parents we’ve had to come to terms with recognizing that it’s okay to be dissimilar as long as we are not undermining one another.
For example, if bedtime is 8:30, Daddy doesn’t get to stretch it until 10 p.m. in the name of fun. However, Daddy might carry his little girl upside down to her room, misplacing her in the laundry basket, the flower pot, and the sink before he actually figures out that the proper nighttime location to deposit his little upside down package is in her bed.
Sometimes, Mommy’s delicate touch is just what the doctor ordered. Other times, Daddy’s shenanigans are pitch perfect. But if you come to my house, you’ll find that these roles switch as well whereby Mommy is sometimes the goofball and Daddy is sometimes the one who gives the tender hugs before night-night.
There aren’t any hard and fast rules to most of this, but I think it’s safe to say my silliness can hit a higher note than hers.
Then again, for me it’s “literary research,” right? (*wink-wink*)
Is there a favorite book your kids have you read to them over and over again?
We definitely have a few favorites that are well worn in our house. Of course, you have to realize that both my wife and I are teachers, so our library of children’s books is fairly large. (Aside from bloated bookshelves in every room, we also have boxes upon boxes of books in the garage.)
One title that leaps out is No, David! by David Shannon. My older daughter and I must have read that book a zillion times. The story is so funny and the text is so spot on (yet sparse). The great thing is, it’s one of those titles that started with me reading this book to her—and now she is reading this book to me.
When you see those sorts of things start to happen in your home, it’s a really special time.
What inspired you to become a children's author?
The magic of books wove its spell on me quite early on. There is a long list of children’s book authors—from Dr. Seuss to Maurice Sendak and more—who seemed to practically beckon me to take a stab at flexing my imagination through the written word. This goes way, way back to when I was nothing more than a wee little thing.
Some people feel called to music, others to painting, still others to science or medicine or math. For me, it was always writing. Truth is, I still can’t believe I get paid to do this for a living. Don’t tell my publishers, but I am going to continue to write these things whether they pay me or not.
I guess I am one of those writers who simply can’t not write. Penning children’s books not only brings meaningfulness to my world, I am convinced it keeps me sane.
What's one of your favorite things about being a father?
One of my favorite things about being a father is that I’ve learned to give of myself so authentically, at least in a way that I never before did prior to having had children. I wasn’t ever a tyrant or an ogre, but I never before really understood the deep joy to be found in sacrifice and true generosity. Dad-hood has illuminated this for me.
Of course, being a father is also a license to laugh each and every day. The adult world can get so serious, but as a father to two young children, I am not sure if there is anything more important to the general health of my daughters than making sure that we share a heck of a lot of laughs together.The value and power of smiles seems far too underrated to me in our modern-day society. As a dad, I believe they move mountains.
Thank you Alan for stopping by Mundie Kids today! Visit Disney Go to learn more about this book and to print your downloadable Father's Day card.
About the Book:
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: April 17th, 2012
Daddy sure doesn't do things the way Mommy does Just in time for Father's Day, this hilarious picture book takes a high-spirited look at the way dads put their own spin on different parts of a child's life--from going to a birthday party to bathtime. Alan Sitomer's debut picture book is inspired by his own experiences as a father and winningly complemented with delightful art by Abby Carter -quoted from Goodreads