Book Review – Verses for Dad’s Heart

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 4, 2004

By LEONARD GRAY – Staff Reviewer

GRETNA – Just in time for Father’s Day comes “Verses for Dad’s Heart,” a slender volume of poetry crammed full of love.

The book, issued by Pelican Publishing Company of Gretna and available at major bookstores, celebrates and honors daddies who work for their families, with love at the center of all things.

The poet, Dr. Steven Layne, is an honored educator, reading teacher and researcher, as well as a public speaker. He teaches at Wheaton College in Illinois and his past published books include “Teachers’ Night Before Christmas” and “Thomas’s Sheep and the Great Geography Test.”

“Verses for Dad’s Heart” offers themes of good dads, serving their children.

A few samples will illustrate, such as “Daddy Never Fails.”

“Reading silly stories

Chasing me around

Singing made-up nonsense songs

Falling on the ground

Giving me a bottle

Tossing me a ball

Playing with my bathtub toys

Running if I call.

Rocking me at bedtime

Telling me some tales

Holding me when things aren’t right…

Daddy never fails.”

The essence of the book is an unfailing sweetness, and the heart-tugging poems will recall happy childhood memories for many readers and perhaps prompt some phone calls and visits for Father’s Day. Another example follows:

“Mr. Fix-It

Dad’s not so good with hammers;

He’s not the best with saws.

With doors that creak or pipes that leak

He’s really a lost cause.

He’s scary with a power drill;

With nuts and bolts he’s bad!

But when my heart needs big repairs,

There’s no one like my dad.”

The verses are matched by the illustrations of Gail Greaves Klinger, an art educator for more than 30 years, and an excellent match for the poetry.

At a suggested retail price of $16.95, the book may just inspire many excellent Father’s Days to come.