Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem

I’ve never actually tried to write a post from my phone before, so this is a first time test… But it’s not meant to be a long or complex one, so hopefully it goes ok. This is, really, just a heads up to everyone looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift: Lauren Soloy has you covered with her new book, Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem (isn’t that a great title?).

It’s such a shame, I think, that good dads generally turn up in books, if they do at all, as “special time” parents. What’s lovely about this book is that Lauren Soloy roots it in history (there’s a note about Etty’s work with her famous father, Charles Darwin, at the back) so the reality of this wonderful dad spending time with his daughter doing a normal, not “special time,” thing together feels all the more real. This is the story: they go for a walk and think and talk. He listens carefully to her thoughts, responds honestly and thoughtfully, and shares his thoughts with her. He notes it when she says something that prompts him to remember to keep an open mind, showing that dads learn from kids as much as kids from dads. At the end they feel better for taking time from the day to walk and think and talk together.

I think this is a great book at any time, but if you’re looking for something to show the dad in your family that you appreciate his “every day” fathering, his attention and listening, his open mind and genuine fondness for spending time with his kids… Don’t get a grill. Get this book.

(I completely blew it because as soon as I got it I shoved it in my husband’s hands so I guess I just have to get him a grill instead. Too bad there aren’t any other books out there instead…)

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