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|Knock knock : my dad's dream for me|
Author: Beaty, Daniel
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.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.90
Points: .5 Quiz: 163083
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, 2014
Kirkus Reviews (-) (11/01/13)
School Library Journal (10/01/13)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (01/14)
The Hornbook (00/11/13)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2013 K-Gr 3—Beaty tells a poignant, heart-wrenching tale of love, loss, and hope. A boy narrates how every morning he and his father play the Knock Knock game. He feigns sleep while his father raps on the door until the boy jumps into his dad's arms for a hug and an "I love you." One day, there is no knock. Left with his mother, the child deeply misses his papa and writes to him for advice, receiving a moving letter in return. Collier's watercolor and collage illustrations enhance the nuanced sentiment of the text. Following the protagonist's journey from a grief-stricken child to an accomplished strong adult, the lifelike images intermingle urban and domestic backgrounds with the symbolic innerscape of the narrator. As the boy writes the letter and tosses paper airplanes out the window, he glides out on a life-size paper plane expressing his plea, "Papa, come home, 'cause there are things I don't know, and when I get older I thought you could teach me." Author's and illustrator's notes at the end of the book elaborate on the personal meaning of this eloquent story that speaks especially to children who are growing up in single-parent homes.—Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/01/2013 Every morning a boy and his father play a game: “KNOCK KNOCK,” says papa, and the boy pretends to be asleep, before jumping into his father’s arms. Then one morning papa doesn’t come anymore. Collier’s gorgeous watercolor and collages begin with rich hues and joyful light on the beginning pages and turn somber and dark as the boy realizes his father is gone for good. Buildings, fabric patterns and wood grains, photographs, and torn paper are delightfully complex, framing the emotional painterly portrayals of a sad and disappointed boy. Children can follow the tromping paisley elephants and paper airplanes as well as papa’s signature hat as the boy grows up and finds happiness. In a rare topic for younger children, Beaty explores the theme of permanent separation from a parent (it could be prison, death, or abandonment). The desire for guidance encountering life’s experiences is told from a small child’s point of view with candor, as well as hope, as he ends quoting papa’s advice to “KNOCK KNOCK down the doors that I could not.” - Copyright 2013 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2014 A young African-American boy and his father have a morning routine: Papa knocks on the door while son pretends to be asleep, until Dad comes to investigate. “Then I get up and jump into his arms. ‘Good morning, Papa!’” One day, however, the knock never comes; increasingly missing his father as the days go by, the boy writes a letter and leaves it on his desk, pleading for his dad to come home (“Papa, come home, ’cause I want to be just like you, but I’m forgetting who you are”) and teach him the things he’s not yet learned. Two months later, Papa’s return letter explains that he won’t be coming home and offers his son advice on growing up. Adapted from a piece of spoken-word poetry, the text is both sturdy and expressive (“As you grow older, shave in one direction with strong, deliberate strokes to avoid irritation”), although the tugging at heartstrings seems a little deliberate. Collier’s collage and watercolor illustrations blend realism and the imaginative in a highly textured world-when the boy writes to his father, he’s seen gliding off over the city on a folded paper airplane-and they effectively convey the labor of building after a loss as the boy moves through childhood to adulthood (literally becoming a builder as well as building his own family). The lack of specifics allows the book to reflect parental absence for any number of reasons (travel, incarceration, divorce, etc.) and thus makes this a freer-floating counterpoint to Collins’ wartime-absence story Year of the Jungle (BCCB 10/13). The intimate nature of the text and the detailed visual environment are more suited for close sharing than a storytime, but the book’s versatility suggests that it will see extended use. TA - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.