Spotlight On Books- Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me
A few weeks ago I went to the Rhode Island Festival of Children's Books and Authors. I had an amazing time seeing and hearing from many fabulous authors and illustrators. One of the highlights of the event was meeting and hearing Bryan Collier. Bryan Collier is an awesomely talented and prolific illustrator. During his presentation he spoke about and read from his book Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me. It was written by Daniel Beaty. All I can say is that it was absolutely amazing. I can only imagine what it is like to hear the author read it to you, because hearing the illustrator read it brought me to tears. And the illustrations...AMAZING! They were so nuanced and filled with depth. Each page is a visual masterpiece unto itself. I immediately ran home and ordered a copy.
This book is for everyone. But may be especially poingnant for children who have an absent parent. The book was written from the perspective of a child whose father is absent because he has been incarcerated; but it will surely resonate with any child who has lost a parent, whether it be from death, divorce, incarceration, etc. It definitely hit home for me because I was raised by a single mother and certainly felt all the emotions that were portrayed in the book. I definitely wish it had been around when I was a child. I can't recommend the book enough! It is touching, inspiring, motivational and all around heartwarming. Definitely put it on your holiday wish lists!
Official Synopsis from School Library Journal:
K-Gr 3- 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."