With a wonderful assortment of tough guys, Negley shows that each one can still have feelings - and even shed a tear. Whether it's the cowboy being thrown from his horse, the astronaut missing his family, or the superhero high above the city and feeling lonely, everyone has feelings. The pages show each of these seemingly rough and tough, invincible guys in a moment of sadness or frustration or disappointment and they are letting their feelings show without embarrassment. My favorite is the pirate standing on a beach covered with empty holes as he tries to dig up the treasure marked on his map. And then there is the illustration of the father and son, cuddled up on the bed and reading together. They are "tough guys who love each other very much." Around them you can see action figures, wooden swords, and solar system mobiles that hint at all the other tough guys already shown in the book. (It makes you wonder what sort of tough guy they are reading about.)
I especially like the end papers. At the front of the book they show all the different sorts of tough guys that will appear in the story. A knight wielding a sword. A race car driver. A brave sea captain. A ninja. But in the back of the book, we see the roles of those tough guys being played by the boy, and his father is playing right along with him. It adds more to the emotional weight of their relationship, seeing how the father isn't afraid to act a little silly and be the bucking bronco for the cowboy to ride, or lifting up his son (dressed as a superhero), so he can fly.
Parents, especially dads, need to read this book to their children and reassure them that having feelings and expressing them doesn't mean that you are not tough or cool.
I read an e-book provided by the publisher through edelweiss. I cannot wait to add this to my school's library.