Review: ‘Geek Dad’s Guide’ great for fun, learning





“The Geek Dad’s Guide to Weekend Fun: Cool Hacks, Cutting-Edge Games, and More Awesome Projects for the Whole Family”

By Ken Denmead, Gotham Books

Today is the day we celebrate dads, and I want to say that I have a very cool dad. Two of my fondest childhood memories are sitting on my dad’s lap, reading the Sunday funnies together (Prince Valiant was my favorite), and getting to hang out with my dad and my brother on Saturday afternoons, watching funny movies while eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches and drinking root beer. It just didn’t get any better than that.

My dad didn’t have “The Geek Dad’s Guide to Weekend Fun” when I was little, but I think he would have enjoyed some of the author’s clever ideas such as making your own ray gun, building a trebuchet with Lego bricks, measuring the speed of light with chocolate, and of course, making homemade root beer. All of the projects have a practical, teachable component to them but kids don’t have to know it – just knowing that a trebuchet is a medieval weapon will guarantee their participation.

So, to all the dads out there who are having fun with kids, may your superhero capes never fade. I may be all grown up now, but my dad’s cape is as strong and vibrant today as it was during our root beer days. Happy Father’s Day!

Jan Johnston is the Collection Development Coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District. Email her at She blogs at