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SHORTCUTS

For the Daddies Living Apart From Daughters

June 12, 1997|BOB SIPCHEN

Still can't decide if you should get Pop the Porsche or the "How to Get Bass to Jump Into Your Boat" video for Father's Day?

All this week, Shortcuts looks at books designed for dear old Dad.

In "Daddy Day, Daughter Day" (Dove Kids) co-authors Larry King and Chaia King provide the alternating narratives of a divorced father and his young child, off for a special day together.

This thin book, with illustrations by Wendy Christensen, walks a fine line between schmaltz and poignancy.

"My dog, Bram, always warns me when Daddy is a block away. Daddy never understands how I always manage to be waiting outside when he arrives."

Usually once a week I get to pick Chaia up and spend the whole day with her. I go to bed early the night before because I know I'm getting up to have a day with my daughter.

"My parents have been divorced for five years, and it is still hard. I feel like I don't have a complete family. But Daddy visits often, and Mommy is happy for us to have time together . . . "

There is a whole genre of divorce literature for children these days, and while the obvious intention of such books is to comfort, some social critics recently have asked: "Comfort whom?"

Indeed, "Daddy Day, Daughter Day" ends with a sentence that sounds like the sort of wishful thinking that is more likely to appear in a divorced parent's rationalizations than a little girl's reverie:

"I know now that divorce can bring good times as well as bad, and that having two parents who love you, even if they don't live together, is the greatest gift of all."

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