'Today' Host Craig Melvin Opens up About His New Career Move

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Craig Melvin Discusses His New Book for KidsNBC - Getty Images
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Craig Melvin is a proud dad — and wants the whole world to know it! The cohost of TODAY and father of Delano, 10, and Sybil, 7, just released the picture book I’m Proud of You, which celebrates his son's big and small accomplishments.

“A few years ago, I found myself marveling at Delano on the high dive,” Melvin recalls. “He was trying to conquer his fear and jump off for the first time. When he did it, I saw how proud he was and how proud my wife and I were, and I thought we should document this.”

<p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/0063206137?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C10055.a.60755775%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>I'm Proud of You</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$13.99</p>

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I'm Proud of You



That's exactly what happened: Melvin wrote a rhyming story that captures a variety of qualities he admires about Delano, including his kindness, grace, curiosity and courage. Artist Sawyer Cloud expressively illustrated Melvin's family, helping to make the story even more warm and fuzzy. On the pages that depict Delano standing on the high dive with his family and other kids cheering him on, Melvin writes, “I’m proud of you facing your fears. I know you will rise above, even if there are tears.”

Melvin dedicates the book to his wife Lindsay Czarniak, a sports broadcaster, and his children, collectively calling them "his rock and inspiration."

Below, he shares more about his family life — and his lifelong connection with books.

On what he's most proud of

If you asked me before children, I would have given you four or five professional accomplishments because my job is awesome. But I’m immensely proud of the family that my wife and I are building. I’m proud of my extended family and the relationship I’ve been able to forge with my father late in life.

On the dream Father's Day

I wouldn't set an alarm, and sleep until my body wakes up. Then I'd go back to sleep for a nap. I'd have a nice breakfast, and go to the golf course. I'd play the front nine with my buddies and the back nine with family. Then I'd go home and have ribeye steak, mac and cheese and a nice glass of bourbon on the rocks. I'd be able to watch TV uninterrupted. After dinner, I'd FaceTime my younger brother and my dad to talk about the joys and wonders of fatherhood.

On what he's gotten better at since becoming a dad

Patience. I've struggled mightily with patience my entire life. When you're a parent, you have to be patient. It’s a job requirement.

On how the family manages screen time

This has become the defining issue of parenthood and the older our kids get, the harder managing screen time becomes. We only allow video games on the weekends. We've signed the Wait Until 8th pledge about not getting kids a cell phone until eighth grade. And we're more conscious of being on our phones in front of the kids.

On the importance of reading

Books are the great equalizer, always have been, always will be. My mom was a teacher — and thanks to her, I was a voracious reader at an early age. In particular, Holden Caulfield [from The Catcher in the Rye] was such a relatable character to me. Even now, I spend a lot of time reading. It's an escape, especially these days when so much around us is so serious and heavy.

On reading with his kids

My son and daughter are both big readers, and now they even read to me. Sybil enjoys the Amelia Bedelia series and Delano, who had been into dinosaurs almost his entire life, has a giant encyclopedia about them that he reads to me.

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