In an attempt to create an image that his new daughter would one day appreciate, Dave Engledow took a photo in which he’s cradling eight-week-old Alice Bee like a football and doctored it to look like he’s squirting breast milk into a "World’s Best Father" mug. Friends and family clamored for more. After Dave’s humorous attempts to capture the sleep-deprived obliviousness of being a first-time dad went viral, he and Alice Bee found themselves bona fide Internet and television celebrities.
Merging a Norman Rockwell aesthetic with a darkly comic sensibility, Dave pairs each side-splittingly funny image with a log entry describing the awkward situation that the World’s Best Father has found himself in. Hilarious and heartwarming, Confessions of the World’s Best Father is a celebration of the early years of parenthood.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Sold by:||Penguin Group|
|File size:||69 MB|
|Note:||This product may take a few minutes to download.|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
“Look.” Lee Miller stood and pulled on her gloves. “Can you come to us this weekend? Come meet Roland. I married, you know. Twice, to be precise. Aziz and I married after you left Paris, but it didn’t last. God, Cairo was so boring. But I think this one will last. Come meet the husband, and little Anthony. Yes, I have a child. A boy. The most beautiful little boy in the world. I’m absolutely besotted.”Pain knifed my chest. “I didn’t plan a long stay,” I said, trying to sound a touch careless, a little preoccupied with all the things I had to do. “And I didn’t bring evening clothes. In fact, I am wearing my entire travel wardrobe.”
It was a silly excuse but one that would do when the truth was too painful. I didn’t want to see Lee holding her child. Lee, who had never wanted to marry, to have children, now had both husband and son. And my child was lost; her father, the man who should have been my husband, was an ocean away, living with a different wife, a different family.
Lee laughed. “Darling, that doesn’t matter. Wear a sheet if you must. It will be like the old days. Do come! On Friday, take the afternoon train to Lewes and we’ll pick you up at the station. On Sunday, we’ll drive you to Newhaven and you can catch the ferry to France.”
She stood and reached for the bill, signing it rather than leaving cash. I read her signature upside down. Lady Penrose of Poughkeepsie, it said. Lee still had a sense of humor.
I hadn’t yet agreed to the weekend, so she played her strongest card.
“Pablo will be there,” she said, and was out the door before I could say no.
Pablo. When I had to leave Paris, Pablo Picasso had been the one to help me, not because we were close—we were not—or because he was particularly kind to young girls in trouble—he was not. It had merely been one of those life-forming coincidences. That day, as I stood on the Pont Neuf wondering where I would go, what I would do, he had come toward me on his way to somewhere. There was just enough kindness in his voice when he asked, “Ça va?” that I sobbed my story out to him. He had already known, of course. That’s the sad truth of betrayal. It makes a poor secret except to the betrayed.
He paused, then gave me a piece of paper on which he’d written the name of a friend who would take me in. He would write to her the very next day, he promised, and I fled to his friend, Madame Hughes, in Grasse. Seventeen years ago. A war ago. A child ago. A lifetime ago.
Lee had introduced me to Pablo, and to many others. She had given, and she had taken. I looked out the window and watched Lee cross the street with that determined stride of hers. She waved, grinned, and disappeared into the crowd.
I stared at the card, wondering how much the train to Lewes would cost. No one ever said no to Lee Miller, and if she thought they might, she simply never asked the question. Of course, there was always a first time. Why should I interrupt my search for Dahlia to play houseguest for the woman who had, years before, derailed my dreams? Because the search is over, a dark voice said in my head. There is nowhere else to look.
I rose to leave the restaurant, walking in the wake of Lee’s perfume. I smelled it, then, that bottom note I hadn’t noticed before. Camphor, eucalyptus, and the salty, acrid bottom note of merbromin. Medicine. The smell carried me backward.
Scents are memories’ bid for immortality; they keep the past alive.
What People are Saying About This
"… in this clever send-up of perfect parenting . . . each grittily realistic photo is accompanied by hilarious commentary from Engledow, who appears to possess a quality every dad should have: the ability to laugh at himself."
"in a funny new book, photographer Dave Engledow skewers the art of being a dad."
"His gorgeous, hilarious, reality-bending photos pair Engledow with his daring daughter, Alice Bee, in situations that would make parents cringe—if they weren’t laughing out loud, that is."
"...a perfect work of satire, which every parent will love and return to often...a unique book, that also happens to be a work of art"
—Jason Good, stand-up comedian and author of This is Ridiculous, This is Amazing
"A goofy and heart-gladdening tribute to all the joys and slings and arrows of raising a daughter."
“Internet, meet your new favorite dad.”
“A hilariously twisted response to all those cutesy shots that parents post on Facebook.”
—Working Mothers (“Dad’s Who Rock: 25 Superstar Fathers”)
“[Dave Engledow] takes family portraits to a whole new level.”
—New York Daily News