Just the Two of Us

Just the Two of Us

4.6 8
by Will Smith, Jon J. Muth, Floyd Cooper, Kadir Nelson
     
 

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Will Smith lends the lyrics of his hit single to a remarkable new picture book. Gorgeous pencil and oil illustrations by Kadir Nelson follow a father and son relationship through three stages of life: from newborn, to young child, to young man. Will Smith¹s song is a call to all fathers to teach their children the values of dignity, integrity, and honor. But

Overview

Will Smith lends the lyrics of his hit single to a remarkable new picture book. Gorgeous pencil and oil illustrations by Kadir Nelson follow a father and son relationship through three stages of life: from newborn, to young child, to young man. Will Smith¹s song is a call to all fathers to teach their children the values of dignity, integrity, and honor. But above all, it is a song of love.

Editorial Reviews

barnesandnoble.com
Actor and musician Will Smith has teamed up with award-winning illustrator Kadir Nelson to create a touching and telling story of a father's love for his son. Just the Two of Us examines a father's reflections on his son's life from infanthood through to young adulthood. With words derived from Smith's hit single of the same name and Nelson's beautifully rendered pencil and oil illustrations, this touching tale addresses some of the many ups and downs, joys and heartaches, and rewards and challenges of life. Underlying it all is a rousing theme of togetherness that suggests a loving father-and-son team can accomplish anything if they stick together.

While the driving force behind Just the Two of Us is a father's intense love and lifelong commitment to his child, Smith also touches on such weighty and trouble-prone topics as hate, anger, peer pressure, and broken hearts. The narrator father prepares his son for some of these curve balls of life, encouraging him to face them with dignity, honesty, and consideration for others. The pictures and text may well serve as a launching platform for discussion -- a safe way to broach potentially difficult subjects. As such, it is suitable for kids ranging in age from toddlers to adolescence, making this book a long-lived companion. (Beth Amos)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439087926
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
05/28/2001
Series:
Scholastic Bookshelf Series
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.29(w) x 11.24(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
5 - 10 Years

Meet the Author


Kadir Nelson illustrated two Caldecott Honor Books: MOSES and HENRY'S FREEDOM BOX. ELLINGTON WAS NOT A STREET by Ntozake Shange won the Coretta Scott King Award. Will Smith’s JUST THE TWO OF US won an NAACP Image Award, and his new book, WE ARE THE SHIP continues to garner major awards. Nelson showed artistic talent at age 3 and began working in oils by age 16. He lives with his family in San Diego, California.

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Just The Two Of Us (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I ordered this book, I didn't know it was the lyrics of the song. I thought it would just be a nice story about a dad and his son. As I read the book, I heard the song in my head and the pictures made me almost cry. It is so sweet to actually *see* the song. When my 16yo son first heard the song, he ran out and bought the tape so I could hear it. Now 18, he got real emotional when he read the book. His dad is nothing like the dad in the song/book, so I guess it meant a lot to him to know that dads can be like this. And he could be this kind of a dad someday.
YolandaCT More than 1 year ago
I know it features a Dad and his son but I believe girls enjoy it just as much as the boys. This is a great gift idea. It's even more fun if after reading and discussing the story you pull up the song and sing/rap it together.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book that can really hit a powerful string with any reader that might be enjoying it. The book has a focus on love that is strong and uplifting, but also shies away from the norm by commenting on a fathers love instead of a mothers. Being a young adult male I can really appriciate this book's internal meaning to the fullest. I found that this book delivered an arousal of feelings from a perspective of a son being with his father and then the awaiting to one day (not too terribly soon) be a father. For me that was the highlight of the book. The inner dialog that was initiated from this book was very alarming yet appriciated. Placing this type of message with a book that alone has so much stimulating rhythm that a part of me actually feels that the song reduces its overall flow. Overall this book was very nice as it was well written and well illitrated, with an amazing 'below the surface' message that I found a personal connection to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I actually read 'Just the Two of Us' to my class this afternoon. Just the Two of Us is wonderfully illustrated and it's basically Will Smiths song, which was out several years ago, just in book form. I read it to the class since we were studying various types of modern day families and how some families are small and others are very large. In this case, Will is talking to his son about how he grew up and looks back at himself when he was his sons age and how they share similarities. Will briefly touches on his divorce to his first wife (not Jada)and how he will 'have his sons back.' This is definitley a feel good story about a father and son growing a deeper bond between them. As much as I love the book, I would like to see Will Smith write a real childrens book the next time around.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book that captures the love that exist from a parent to a child. It speaks about real emotions that we all have. This book almost made me cry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always been partial to the idea of coupling genres. I like to see sculptures that are imaginatively lit, with music playing in the background. To take a song and turn it into a book was an inspired choice to me. As I read the words and look at the beautiful images, I feel strong emotions that are evoked by hearing the song in my mind. The effect is a lot like seeing a motion picture, or being in an emotion-filled moment with wonderful music resonating through your body. Whether or not you are a single father, this book will move you in beautiful ways. The book builds from a father's reminiscences about what it was like to become a man, a father, and then to take on the sole parenting role after a divorce. Every father will remember having these same emotions, and will be glad to have memories of them reawakened. The book begins with: 'I told my parents I wanted to build a castle in the sky.' ''Here's a pencil and paper, let's draw the plans,' they replied.' The book ends with: 'My son told me he wanted to build a castle in the sky.' ''Here's a pencil and paper, let's draw the plans,' I replied.' The song has many other inspiring lyrics that work well here. Some of my favorites include: 'I pledge my life to you.' 'a little me' 'I wanna kiss you all the time.' 'I try to be a tough dad, but you keep making me laugh . . . .' 'It didn't work out with me and your mom . . ./You were conceived in love.' 'One day some girl's gonna break your heart.' 'Throughout life people will make you mad . . . /Let God deal with the things they do . . . .' 'Always tell the truth, say your prayers/Hold doors, pull out chairs, easy on the swears.' Some people may be bothered by the colloquial words and grammar. If the book were not based on a song, that would be a problem. But I found the usages helped with the mood. This is just an ordinary man, with feet of clay, doing his best. If his grammar isn't perfect, that's just part of portraying his character. Some readers may not like the way the rhymes scan. Some rhymes are definitely forced, but others lines flow nicely. If I were to judge the book as poetry, I would definitely grade it down for these problems. But in the context of the musical experience, I found it worked all right. So it is just a missed opportunity to be even better. I found the recollections of what it was like before going to the hospital, the experiences there, and coming home to be especially moving. I hope other authors will take on these important moments of fatherhood and give them their own special interpretation, as well. The illustrations should be singled out for special praise. They create a magical mood that allows your mind to experience the book as both memory and movie while the music plays on. Whether you are black or have some other color skin, you will identify directly with the characters in these illustrations without thinking about what their color is. That is a fine achievement in portraying universal expressions of love. Almost any father would be delighted to have this book as a gift for father's day from a daughter or son. After you finish reading the book, take a moment to reflect on your father or your experiences as a father. If your father is still alive, share with him some of your memories of when it was 'just the two of us' when you were growing up. Be inspired by the most precious and optimistic memories you have! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution