This selection is one of seven finalists for fiction picture books, and I am a participating judge for round 2. Which means I have to read them. Tough work, huh? For information on the Cybils Awards, click HERE
Author: Daniel Beaty
Illustrator: Bryan Collier
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company, 2014
Ages: 3-6yrs (according to Amazon, but, again, I think it’s for older children)
Themes: fathers and sons, separation, diverse books
Opening: Every morning I play a game with my father. He goes KNOCK KNOCK on my door, and I pretend to be asleep till he gets right next to my bed.
Summary: (from the publisher) A boy wakes up one morning to find his father gone. At first, he feels lost. But his father has left him a letter filled with advice to guide him through the times he cannot be there.
I like this book because: it’s powerful and beautiful, both in the writing and the illustrations. For a variety of reasons many children have to deal with separation from or the absence of a parent, and this selection deals with incarceration, though it’s not mentioned. I believe it would make a good addition to classroom shelves, helping kids understand and navigate the difficulties some are forced to deal with and to encourage hope. The multi-layered mixed-media illustrations are rich and warm, and invite the reader to take time to see there are often more layers to life’s complexities if we take a closer look.
Resources/activities: check out this pinterest board on building self-esteem.
For more PPBF selections including resources and activities, go to Susanna Hill’s blog: HERE