Cover image for Just the two of us
Title:
Just the two of us
Author:
Smith, Will, 1968-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic, [2001]

©2001
Physical Description:
30 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Summary:
Celebrates the dignity, integrity, and honor of being a father.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.9 0.5 73715.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.5 1 Quiz: 24184 Guided reading level: NR.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780439087926
Format :
Book

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On Order

Summary

Summary

Celebrates the dignity, integrity, and honor of being a father.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-6. Accomplished musician and actor Smith revisits his popular 1998 recording of the song "Just the Two of Us" in this colorful tribute to the unconditional love of a parent for his child. Children are taken on a rhythmic journey as a father pledges his loyalty to his son, while sharing a few of life's most valuable lessons. Smith writes about the care Dad takes driving his newborn home from the hospital; his laughter when he discovers his son has his ears; and his pain when he explains that when love is concerned, broken hearts are unavoidable. Smith briefly addresses the issue of divorce, but he makes it clear that "when push comes to shove / You were conceived in love." The vibrant illustrations and the alternating typeface add strong elements of warmth, humor, and rhythm, and Smith's foreword is a touching tribute to the impact his parents made on his life. A good choice for parent-child sharing. --Cynthia Turnquest


Publisher's Weekly Review

Grammy-winner and actor Smith presents the lyrics of his hit song that borrows the refrain, "Just the two of us,/ Building castles in the sky./ Just the two of us,/ you and I," in its celebration of a father's love for his son. Featuring various fonts and type sizes for emphasis, the text scans best with Smith's rap delivery: "Sometimes I wonder what you're gonna be/ A general, a doctor, maybe an MC./ I wanna kiss you all the time/ But I will test that butt when you cut out of line./ Why'd you do that?" As he pledges devotion and offers advice to his son, the narrator's sentiment shines with sincerity. Describing the night he brought his newborn son home from the hospital, Smith states, "That night I don't think one wink I slept/ As I slipped out of my bed, to your crib I crept/ Touched your head gently, I felt my heart melt/ 'Cause I knew I loved you/ more than life itself." Emotion also runs deep in the paintings, which show the boy growing into a youth. The pictures rely on fairly conventional imagery: father holding up infant son against the sun, the two viewed in profile; father and mature son in thoughtful conversation on a beach at sunset. But Nelson effectively conveys the affirming message of the text. All ages. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-With a few changes, Smith has transformed the lyrics of his 1997 song into a wonderful book for youngsters. An African-American man raps with his son: "Just the two of us,/building castles in the sky./Just the two of us,/you and I." The refrain appears as a chorus in this rap, which tenderly reveals a father's feelings at his son's birth and as the child grows to be a young man. The man's hopes for his son's future are underpinned by his commitment to love, discipline, and advise as best he can. The text does not always scan well or rhyme precisely, but the words are expressive; here they convey the sure sense of a parent's love and care. The text, set in fonts of various sizes and types and creating emphasis and variety, is strikingly spaced on each double-page spread. It is coupled with moving pencil-and-oil illustrations of a father lifting his son toward the sky, playing basketball with him, etc. Many of the stunning images are set against a blue sky and conjure up a marvelous atmosphere of spaciousness and freedom. While implying all the opportunities open to the child, they also show the intimate connection among these family members. "Always tell the truth, say your prayers/Hold doors, pull out chairs, easy on the swears/You're living proof that dreams come true/I love you and I'm here for you." A lovely book for fathers and sons to share.-Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.