Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers” as Want to Read:
In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  168 ratings  ·  55 reviews
In this intergenerational collection of poetry by new and established African American writers, fatherhood is celebrated with honor, humor, and grace. Folami Abiade, Dinah Johnson, Carole Boston Weatherford, Dakari Hru, Michael Burgess, E. Ethelbert Miller, Lenard D. Moore, David Anderson, Angela Johnson, Sonia Sanchez, and Davida Adedjouma all contribute. Javaka Steptoe, ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Lee & Low Books (first published March 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack KeatsThe Rough-Face Girl by Rafe MartinMufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John SteptoeWhistle for Willie by Ezra Jack KeatsRuth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey
Multicultural Children's Lit
37th out of 325 books — 55 voters
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack KeatsI Like Myself! by Karen BeaumontPlease, Baby, Please by Spike LeeAmazing Grace by Mary HoffmanMufaro's Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe
African American Picture Books
144th out of 284 books — 82 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 331)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Nov 21, 2009 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
Recommended for Ages 8 and up

From Booklist
The son of John Steptoe has a true winner in fact, receiving the 1998 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for his first picture book. Javaka Steptoe creates a splendid series of images in mixed media--from found objects, torn and cut paper, and color--to illustrate a series of short poems about fathers. From the stark simplicity of David Anderson's "Promises," with its cut-paper silhouette figure of a child's hug seen from behind his dad, to the many-la
Paul  Hankins

"When you follow in the path of your father,
you learn to walk like him." Ashanti Proverb

The poems in this collection capture those special feelings for fathers that are often spoken in retrospect, like Robert Hayden's "Those Winter Sundays." Here, the poems about fathers--African American fathers--are celebrated in present tense AND in nostalgia.

Angela Johnson speaks of her memories of her father's hands, h
In my fathers arms I am tall is a book of poetry. It is for readers in the intermediate age range of 8-12 yrs old. This book is a collection of 13 poems from 12 different poets. This book talks about the bond and empowering relationships of father's and grandfather's with their children. This book at first glance appears to be for the african american father only but this book is for all father's of all nationalities. I Loved It!! This book was so inspiring to read. The picture illustrations wer ...more
I love the concept of this book and liked the poetry that was included, but wanted more! It felt like a very short version of an anthology that could have included many more poems on the topic of African American fathers.

What is perhaps even more striking than the poetry itself are the illustrations! Javaka Steptoe's art is a brilliant mix of found materials, drawings, collages, paintings, abstract images and literal ones. One page has simple figures made from torn construction paper, while ano
Emily Moog
In Daddy’s Arms I am Tall is a collection of poems celebrating African American fathers and the impact that they have on children. Each poem highlights different characteristics of fathers as men and as influences on their next generation of family. The artwork throughout the book is somewhat eclectic in nature. The pictures connect to the story that the poem is depicting, but contain pieces of other pictures. The shapes that form the illustrations are cut out or torn from other pictures and may ...more
In Daddy’s Arms I am Tell: African Americans Celebrating Fathers is a book about the appreciation of fathers. Javaka Steptoe uses the illustration style of collage. The collage makes it hard to follow the story in my personal opinion. It is distracting from the words that the story is trying to tell. The illustrations connect to the story but left alone are not enough to tell the whole story. The story line is nice with the idea that everything is safe when a child is in their father's arms and ...more
Kayla Davis
This book is a collection of poems by various writers offering tribute to the African American Fathers who raised them. Each poem offers a unique look into a Father-child relationship. Whether it be remembering how hard their Daddy worked, what their Daddy wore, what their Daddy wanted to be, or how their Daddy played with them, each affectionately expresses the particular impression and impact that their own Fathers left on their hearts. Illustrator, Javaka Steptoe, uses a bold variety of techn ...more
Sophie Gray
This book of several poems gives the message of the importance of a father and the heroic title that every father should hold. The poems are told through African American writers that depict humor into the poems, yet still establishing an emotional message to the audience. I believe that this is a beneficial book in children literature as family is an important part to every child’s life and they should understand the value of their father or male figure as to which they look up to. The way that ...more
I did not really care for this book. Many of the poems were long and did not seem to interest me. I would read the poems I liked for brain breaks, to talk about family, for African American History Month, or to inspire a story my student are about to write.
Interest Level
Grades 3 - 5
Reading Level
Grade level Equivalent: 2.8
Lexile Measure: Not Available
DRA: 34
Guided Reading: O
Type of Book: Read-Aloud Book
Poetry and Rhymes
African Amer
Kelsey Barbour

"In Daddy's Arms I am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers" is a collection of poems from 12 different African American poets that is illustrated by Javaka Steptoe. Each poem is about describing a father, grandfather, father/child relationship or a grandfather/child relationship. There are beautiful illustrations on each page that were drawn to perfectly represent each poem it is associated with. This book gives students so many opportunities to learn and discuss poetry and life.

Toni Tawes
"In Daddy's Arms I am Tall" is a book poetry from many different poets and for readers age 8and older. The illustrator won The Coretta Scott King Award in 1998. The illustrations are unique and beautiful. It is a celebration of fatherhood with some humor. The books focus on black fathers and their journey. Their connection with their fathers and how that has helped them become the fathers they are. It also has poems on how grandfathers have also taken on the role of being the father when the fat ...more
Bossy Kiya (Jakiya)
I think the book was interesting . I loved how the people explained how they feel about there fathers. My favorite poem in this book is Tickle tickle By: Dakari Hru. Tickle, tickle was mainly about a girl/boy who loved there dad. He or she also loved when there dad tickle them. In the poem it says when my dad tickles me eyes water, my throat be sore but me still want more. I also enjoyed the poem My granddaddy is my daddy too . This poem reminded me of my granddaddy but my granddaddy has differe ...more
Melanie Johnson
Being a father is the greatest thing in the world to a man. Some may cry and others may be just smile from ear to ear. This book of poems In daddy's arm I AM TALL African American Celebrate Fathers is a Coretta Scott King Award book that is about fathers expressing their love for being a father. Some may comes from a daughter or son's eyes. With the pictures in the book that are torn and cut paper with pastel and applique you could see the love that the poets have for their father or grandfather ...more
Sandi Rossman
I reviewed this book for the poetry category (picture book assignment). This book won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award in 1998.

This book is a collection of poetry paying tribute to African-American fathers who are strong, wise, inspirational, and loving. It is easy to see a common theme running through the straightforward, honest poetry: good daddies shape the people we become in life.

The art in this book is mixed media and evokes strong emotions through pictures that are just as strong
Taylor Parker
In Daddy's Arms: I am Tall is a very inspirational book. Its a poem book that is full of poems celebrating African American fathers. In the African American culture there are several single mothers so it is great that this poem book is highlighting African American fathers. We are reading in class that it is good to have books that students can connect to and I think this would be a great book for a teacher to have in their library especially if they are working with African American students.
Leah Gerber
I loved the message of this book. Each page has a poem and each poem is illustrated differently. Children look up to their fathers and are inspired by them and that emotion is expressed by the illustrations in this book. The illustrations show different perspectives of a fathers’ role and helps develop the characters. It’s a simple yet meaningful book and the pictures bring out the lightheartedness of the mood. This is a Coretta Scott King Award winner. This book is for young elementary student ...more
John Sullivan
In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall is a collection of poems from African American writers that was illustrated by Javaka Steptoe. Since it is a series of poems, there is not a storyline to follow, so the pictures represent the theme of the poem. The illustrations are extremely powerful since the text is simple and short, however the method the artist uses of putting many textures and shapes together in a collage format is not my favorite. Throughout the book, different materials are utilized and this mak ...more
Briana Nelson
This picture book is a collection of poems written by various Black authors to celebrate Black fathers. Each page has illustrations representing each poem and is from the perspective of a young child. The illustrations used deep, rich colors that represent African culture such as burnt reds, yellows, oranges and greens. Each poem represents fathers in a positive light- this is definitely expressed with each image- which is why this book was created.
The picture in this book are pretty neat. The pictures were created using a variety of materials including paint, paper, chalk and other items. The illustrations are also full of color and detail but not in the detail normally is found in pictures.
This book is also interesting because it is a compilation of poems written about their own fathers. The poems vary in length and style.
I really like how this is a cultural book. These poems are about celebrating their African American fathers.
This b
Title: “In Daddy’s Arms I am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers” by Javaka Steptoe
Grade/Interest Level: 3rd-5th grade
Guided Reading Level: O
Genre: Poetry

Award: Coretta Scott King Award

Main Characters: African American fathers and children.
Setting: none in specific, the book consists of all poems.
POV: first person by the author of each poem.

Summary: This poetry book is a collection of poems that celebrate with humor, honor, and grace the fatherhood by African American writers. This book
Irene Perez
In Daddy’s Arms I am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers by Javaka Steptoe
Guided Reading Level: O
Genre: Poetry

Main Characters: African American fathers and children.
Setting: none in specific, the book consists of all poems.
POV: narrator

This poetry book is a collection of poems that celebrate with humor, honor, and grace the fatherhood by African American writers. This book testifies the powerful bond between father and child by recognizing family as our greatest gift, and identi
Nov 17, 2012 Bianca added it
In Daddy’s Arms I am Tall: African Americans Celebrating Fathers” by Javaka Steptoe
Grade/Interest Level: 3rd-5th grade
Guided Reading Level: O
Genre: Poetry

Main Characters: African American fathers and children.
Setting: none in specific, the book consists of all poems.
POV: first person by the author of each poem.

Summary: This poetry book is a collection of poems that celebrate with humor, honor, and grace the fatherhood by African American writers. This book testifies the powerful bond between fat
Heather Brown
This is a beautifully written and illustrated book. Each page has a different poem by a different poet. Because of this, the reading levels vary a bit, but I think 2nd or 3rd grade and up would enjoy this and even high school students. The illustrations are very cool and each page is a bit different since they're all mixed-media. I especially loved the poem "My Granddaddy is My Daddy Too" by Dinah Johnson.
I have never been a big poetry fan, but I really did enjoy most of the poems in this book. My favorite one was My Granddaddy is my Daddy Too. My Grandpa raised me and was like my daddy, so I felt a special connection with this poem. There were a couple poems that made me cry as well. I also enjoyed the illustrations in this book; they really added to the poems, and while some did look slightly abstract to me, I think it added character to every piece of poetry in this book. Also, the overall mes ...more
Audrey Schuman
Apr 26, 2014 Audrey Schuman added it
Shelves: poetry
These were all sweet poems that individual children and people wrote about their fathers that were compiled into one book. They were all different, some were long and had rhyming but some were small and simple with no rhyming at all. They used great metaphors such as the poem that compared her father’s basketball game to a thunderstorm. The illustrations were very interesting and bright and accompanied the poems well.
Cara Byrne
A collection of poems by leading voices in African American children's literature, all with distinct illustrations by Javaka Steptoe. A powerful collection, especially with poems like Steptoe's "Seeds" and E. Ethelbert Miller's "The Things in Black Men's Closets."
Age: Kindergarten through 5th grade
Media: Collage--torn paper, cut paper with pastel, applique, found art
Illustrator Style: The diverse collage pictures celebrate the diversity of themes presented by the poets and help capture the eye of a child throughout the longer poems (although they're all pretty short).

A collection of poetry about African American children and their fathers. With a few challenging words, these poems have rhythm and concrete situations that children can follow including a f
This is a great compilation of African American poetry and is very touching. The poems range in their writing style and topic but still give the respect to fathers. Each poem is by a different poet, and at the end of the book a short biography is listed for each poet. The illustrations are also very incredible; they range from different materials put together to make artwork and are very unique. This is a good book to read with children to introduce poetry as well as dedications and written work ...more
Alexis Dowdell
I honestly recommend this for all fathers and children to read. Beautiful book. #blacklivesmatter
Spencer Moser
In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall by Javaka Steptoe is directed to children about 8-14 years of age. The book itself is compiled with poems and stories about fathers. They book is written by African Americans. It has heartwarming stories and odes dedicated to the Author's father. The book has great illustrations that truly envelope the text. All of the people drawn in the illustrations are African American because it is centered towards that culture. The book brings in how we should all celebrate our fa ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • black is brown is tan
  • Ellington Was Not a Street
  • The Blacker the Berry
  • Honey, I Love and Other Love Poems
  • Goin' Someplace Special
  • One Green Apple
  • Big Red Lollipop
  • Fortune's Bones: The Manumission Requiem
  • I Lost My Tooth In Africa
  • Aunt Flossie's Hats (and Crab Cakes Later)
  • I Love My Hair!
  • Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children
  • The People Could Fly: The Picture Book
  • Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat
  • Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom
  • The Bat Boy and His Violin
  • The Dream Keeper and Other Poems
  • Subway
Son of the great John Steptoe, Javaka Steptoe won the Coretta Scott King Award in 1998 for his debut in illustration, In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall.
More about Javaka Steptoe...

Share This Book