Faster than applying a speeding Band-Aid. More powerful than an SUV en route to a soccer game. Able to leap over a floor full of Legos in a single bound.
Is this the new Superman? Well, yes, it is. In the nicest, most under-rated, yet important, way.
Move over, Clark Kent. This is SuperDaddies, the books, and it’s based on a real-life super daddy, with hats off to far more like him.
The concept and adventures are the brainchild of Detroit author Anita T. Gibbs.
“The inspiration came when I began dating a very nice gentleman,” said Gibbs, a single mother to a 25-year-old son, Jonquil Gibbs. “He was one of the best fathers I‘d ever seen, and as I came to know him and his three young daughters, there were some true stories that needed telling — and they were very educational in that process.”
It was while sharing a cell phone call from her muse, who was on a winter outing with his daughters, that Gibbs heard the youngest one sobbing. The little girl had accidentally suffered the loss of the snowball he’d made her. That’s when “Daddy, I Broke My Snowball,” inspired Gibbs’ first book.
Soon, the now 53-year-old writer was formulating a story, and by adding clip-art, began putting the tale to paper at a creative 4 a.m. Later, by utilizing a printing client met through her full-time job as an account executive for Pitney Bowes, Gibbs proceeded to print, then self-publish, what she knew was a worthwhile story.
“I was impressed by such a special father — and we are still together six years later,” Gibbs said. “My goal was to embrace and celebrate the good dads.”
That meant determining a targeted age group appropriate for that book and the other 23 titles to follow. Third and fourth graders encompass her demographic readers, and now she incorporates even more information for those kids, further enhancing their overall education.
“All the books have a little science and technology and teachers enjoy using them in their classrooms,” she said. “They have been endorsed by, and are used for teaching by, DAPCEP — which is the acronym for Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program.”
The added role in Gibbs’ life is a natural off-shoot of her own adult teaching with ITT, now known as International Technical Institute after having morphed from International Telephone and Telegraph. There, she instructs students in technical business and computer applications.
The Cass Technical High School alumna is also contracted as a course writer at National Institute of Information Technology, or NIIT Technologies, a global training and educational facility.
Gibbs’ personal ambitions are echoed by her son, who multi-tasks as a DJ, works for a commercial cleaning service and maintains a customer-service background in yet another job.
Yet, despite Anita Gibbs’ industriousness, she still dreams yet of establishing an educational program, called Summer Solstice. Having served for more than 14 years on a parents’ advisory committee and in being a lifelong hands-on role model for Jonquil, she values the concept of education beyond the classroom or limited by seasons. She wants to expand on that.
Her latest vision entails an end-of-summer opportunity to teach children by preparing them for the fall start of school with a refresher approach undertaken with their dads.
Gibbs, on her way to world domination, has also managed to register and trademark the name and logo of her SuperDaddies The Series with the U.S. patent and trademark agency.
Clearly, while Gibbs holds up dads as positive role models, her part in parenting and leading the way as a hands-on mom is pretty special as well.
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