Despite major upheavals in gender roles, clueless dads unable to parent or set a table still rule in children's books—if they exist at all—laments one stay-at-home father. "I’m aware that there is plenty of good-natured humor to be had from lampooning fathers," writes columnist Damon Syson in the Times of London. But in his survey of books, fathers are all too often "absent, silly or just plain busy. When they do appear they are often withdrawn and ineffectual," he notes.
Though the image presented by books is that dads have almost nothing to do with parenting, the "reality is very different," Syson points out. British fathers are responsible for an average of 25% of childcare-related activities during the week, and 33% on weekends—and the numbers are climbing. “Children’s books need to catch up,” said a psychologist.