Calling All Busy Fathers

A fast route to connecting with your children

The ultimate self-help book for the busy British father has arrived.

Daddy Island is one of the first children’s books to address the father/son relationship and it is the first children’s poem written by renowned performance poet Philip Wells. Its message will help break down the invisible barriers that stop macho, career-minded daddies showing their tactile, affectionate sides.

Daddy Island is a charming, lyrical child’s poem about the relationship between father and son. ‘Fire Poet’ Philip Wells (best known for his adult improvised poetry performances) conceived the idea for the book when his young son, Laurence, jumped on his stomach and shouted, “I’m on Daddy Island”.

Whilst reading the book together, fathers and sons can mimic the actions described, leading to affectionate cuddles…. Daddy Island is a magical, safe place where a little boy can express himself in any way he likes. One moment he is a storm, shouting louder than a thundercloud and the next he is the sand, whispering and listening to the waves. He is also a crawling crab, a soaring bird and a shining star. The final verses descend gently into lullaby, coaxing the child to sleep.

Philip says: “What can you do with your son if you are a man? Wrestle? Play football? These are all very manly pursuits… What is wrong with cuddles and affection? When their children are small, fathers are usually at an age where they are accelerating into their own careers. They need time to communicate with their children properly. Being open and emotional is not some quasi-hippie weakness, it is a new form of power.”

Poetry was not always on Philip’s career agenda. He started out as an advertising copywriter (“A great opportunity for three-hour lunch breaks”), travelled extensively, then walked into St Paul’s Cathedral on the first National Poetry Day, in 1994, and recited a poem by Gerald Manley Hopkins from the Whispering Gallery. Since that acutely nerve-wracking day he has never looked back.

Philip, who describes himself as “a stand-up tragic, not a stand-up comic”, says: “Poetry is like Radio Three waiting for Classic FM to happen, it is ready to be rediscovered. And even the most ‘technological’ TV-addicted child can learn so much from poetry and imagination. If you can weave it into a child’s world, you will see the child light up.”

The Evening Standard has praised Philip as “the foremost performance poet in England”. He now performs to packed audiences at pubs, fringe festivals, community theatres and even prisons UK wide.

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