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A Father Like That Hardcover – April 24, 2007

5 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Hardcover, April 24, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A young boy, whose dad left before he was born, imagines what it would be like to have a father around: they could leave the house together, do the dinner dishes, and play checkers. Dad would help with homework and reassure the boy when he has nightmares. "He would always be on my side, and I could always talk to him." But that's all wishful thinking. Yet his mother likes the father the boy describes, and she tells him, "In case he never comes, just remember when you grow up, you can be a father like that yourself." The first-person voice adds poignancy to the boy's daydreams. The warm-toned illustrations and close-up perspectives of the pretend family reflect an affectionate relationship between father and son. Originally copyrighted in 1971, at a time when fatherless families were becoming a societal issue, the text was most likely intended to be a reassuring, positive message. The handsome paintings depict a contemporary setting, but will today's young boys be consoled by the prospect of being a great dad when they grow up, or is that day too remote to make a difference in a boy's outlook? Cummins, Julie
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


“Zolotow handles a delicate situation with compassion.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Powerful. The text captures the hopes and wishes of all children for the perfect parent.” (School Library Journal)

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (April 24, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060278641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060278649
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,949,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the only book I've found that has been helpful for my son. Other books have been about fathers living outside the home, or replacement fathers. This one is simply about a boy wishing he had a father. This is something my son truly needed to read because his father was never in the picture and his replacement father- my stepfather- recently passed away. I recommend this for any child in a similar situation.
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Format: Hardcover
A Father Like That
A boy whose father "went away before he was born" tells his mother what he imagines his father would be like and about all the things they would do together every day. It's a positive, if perhaps idealized, vision of what a good father should be, and the story ends on an encouraging note with his mother telling him that he can be a father like that when he grows up. A good book for honestly discussing the feelings of any boy who is dealing with the loss of a father.
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Format: Hardcover
I first read this book to my son when he was small and trying to understand why his father did not want to be a part of his life. Zolotow gently redirects the issue from "Why isn't my father here?" to "What sort of father will I be?" This was a very positive way to redirect my son's sttention from worrying about what is wrong with his father, and, of course, what was wrong with himself, to a future where he would do much, much better as a father. The book served as a springboard for heartfelt discussions which always ended on a positive, forward-facing note. This was a favorite book for my son for years; it seemed to reassure him in a very deep and satisfying way. Often he would observe an example of good fathering and comment, "See, I want to be a father like that!" It became a refrain as he grew up. Now he is approaching 30, soon to be married and planning to be a father in a few years. He has become an outstanding man in every way and will likely be an outstanding father. My sincere thanks to Charlotte Zolotow for giving him such a positive answer to his worries. This is an excellent book for any child, male or female, with or without a father. I am not big on bibliotherapy, but, without preaching or a heavy message, this book provides gentle guidance from fears to future. It should never go out of print!
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