Young Ben wants to be just like his awesome dad—bearded.
Ben wants a beard. All the most boss people in his town have them. The baker, the barbers, the butcher, they're all bewhiskered—even the old lady who waits at the bus stop has one. Most of all though, Ben wants a beard just like his dad.
He tries his best to start on some scruff, but nothing works quite right. And when his dad explains he might have to wait 'til he's older for a beard of his own, he decides to take some more permanent action—with a marker that is. In the end, Ben and his dad find the perfect solution in this hilarious and heartwarming picture book celebrating the bond between father and son.
Flannery debuts with a sweetly goofy story about a young family that includes an emotive boy with a beard fixation. Luckily for Ben, there's no shortage of facial hair to admire as he, his tattooed mother, and his younger sister roam their Brooklynesque neighborhood. "Does it get too warm in the winter?" he asks a man in a wheelchair with a bushy gray beard, and he excitedly points out a rare " 'stacheburn" on an urban cowboy. The reason that beards fascinate Ben is simple his lanky father has one and Ben attempts to fashion one for himself using bath bubbles, peanut butter, and permanent marker. Weinberg (Rex Finds an Egg! Egg! Egg!) works in a playfully disarrayed style, using loose squiggle to outline his characters in bright purple, bringing a jittery energy to the pages. When Ben's father shows up clean shaven one morning so that he and Ben can "look alike," the boy isn't flattered but upset. A visit to the costume store (run by a friend's two fathers) provides them with both extravagant beards and an experience to share. Ages 3 5. Illustrator's agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt Agency.