Fatherhood I

One of the joys of the team here at the moment is the real energy there is towards research. and looking outwards to more fluid forms of communication such as blogging.
Mat Tobin, for example, has recently blogged on why picturebooks matter, and it’s our shared interest here that has made us gravitate to each other on a shared project around fatherhood and children’s picturebooks.

Very often in books in which children have adventures, the parents are absent, and in some the very absence of the parent exacerbates the crisis (I’m thinking of Sendak’s Outside Over There, particularly, but there’s the gentler story of Joe’s Cafe – and  for older children we might consider the death of Torak’s father, and in YA fiction Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls or the complexities of Dacid Almond’s Billy Dean).

So just to kick me off on this (next stop looking in detail at Tina Miller on Fatherhood and exploring her ideas of the masculinisation of the home !), I’m posing three questions:

  • Why do parents have to be absent for a “good” story?
  • Are weak parents a substitute for absent parents?
  • What about the unlikeable parent – the buffoon, the bully?



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