Name: Rob Kimmel
Child: Ben, 8 years old this week
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Graphic Designer & Asst. Adj. Professor of design at Pratt Institute
Find me online: Rob Kimmel Design (studio site) & Wandermonster (blog I run with my son, Ben)
1. A favorite toy from childhood: Star Wars figures. I had all of them from the original two movies and have been able to pass them on to my son, weapons and accessories intact.
2. A myth about modern dads: I think dads are more ignored than misrepresented. There's an annoying media/interwebs focus on "moms" instead of "parents" that doesn't reflect what I see in the real world.
3. A favorite children's book: It's so hard to choose. As a designer, illustrator and book nerd, I had a good collection of kids's books even before I had a kid, and we've collected a ton since. From a mixed dad-and-designer stand, I like J. Otto Siebold's Mr. Lunch and Richard McGuire's books a lot. Two favorite bed time books have been Polar Bear Night (Lauren Thompson/Stephen Savage), and Fishing in the Air (Sharon Creech/Chris Raschka).
4. A song I'll be really bummed if my kid doesn't end up loving: At the beginning of the year, my son's music teacher went around the room, asking kids who their favorite musicians were. After a string of "Justin Bieber"s and "Jay Z"s, Ben answered "Tom Waits." The teacher smiled and said "extra credit!" I am not worried.
5. A product I would recommend to another dad: To a dad wth a little one, I'd recommend the Madden Caravan backpack child carrier (now the Sherpani Rumba), which is built like a real backpack. Get your kids introduced to the Outside and realize that you don't have to stop going on adventures just because you have a baby. To a dad with a bigger kid, I recommend a pen and a pad of post its....
6. A website or blog I visit regularly: Ben and I often prowl IO9 together, the Gawker-run sci fi blog. I should give a shout out to The Rumpus. Not kid-or-parenting-related in the least, but consistently rich with real writing and real content.
7. A question I hope my son never asks me: Why weren't you there?
8. My favorite way to spend a few hours with Ben: Drawing together or tromping around town looking for adventure.
9. A parenting trick that works for me and not for my wife/partner: I can reach a level of ridiculous that my wife can't, so if being silly/stupid/funny can save a situation, it's up to me.
10. My parenting superpower: Give me some cardboard, gaffers tape and markers and I can create anything, Phineas and Ferb style.
(Image: Matt Carr/Kids and Animals)