``What you will see here is a portrait of Arthur and Camera as they care for each other on bad days and play together as father and daughter on good days,'' writes Arthur Ashe's widow, Moutoussamy-Ashe, in her introductory note. Anything but sentimental or maudlin, her photographs effectively and affectingly chronicle daily interactions between Camera and her father after he contracted AIDS. In a straightforward, first-person narrative accompanying the pictures, Camera talks about how she helps her father through his ``bad'' days, and how he does the same for her. As the book comes to a close, she explains how ``Daddy got AIDS from a blood transfusion during a heart operation.'' Her final words (``And one thing's for sure--I love my daddy and my daddy loves me. That is the best medicine and we both agree!'') give no indication that Ashe died. As written, the book allows parents to direct their own discussions about AIDS, and reinforces the impression that Camera's special relationship with her father will live forever in her memory. Ages 4-8. (Dec.)
Despite adult readers' poignant memories of Arthur Ashe as a tennis legend and AIDS victim, in this book, children will meet him simply as Camera's daddy. As Camera's mother explains in her well-focused introduction, the book tries to give parents a way to talk with young children about AIDS by showing "Arthur and Camera as they care for each other on bad days and play together as father and daughter on good days." In the first-person text, Camera talks about her daddy and the things they do together, ordinary things like pumping gas into the car and saying their prayers together at bedtime, or not-quite-so-ordinary things like playing with a stethoscope when she visits her father in the hospital. Although she explains that her father has AIDS, this comforting book reflects the experiences of many children living with a chronically ill parent. The matter-of-fact tone of the text is reflected in the clear, expressive black-and-white photos, portraying the loving give and take of father and daughter. Though Ashe died in 1993, the message of this is one of joy. As the author puts it in her introduction: "The power of love is everlasting."