This is the one of the most powerful books I've read all year. And as an elementary school counselor - I read a lot of bibliotherapy. There are many children in my school dealing with an absent parent whether it is because of incarceration, abandonment, divorce etc. Their pain is real and very present. Can you imagine carrying that around all day? Knock Knock My Dad's Dream For Me tells kids they don't have to let this emotional baggage drag them down. They can knock down the doors and open new ones to their dreams. They can become their best and have a bright, beautiful future. The last few pages are full of these inspirational words with such touching illustrations of a father and son embracing had me teary.....but hopeful as a counselor that I can offer love and light though such a healing book. I'm so thankful to have this book and I will be using it one on one, whole classroom, and with groups. This is going to help validate many children across our country who silently suffer from missing their parent - but also encourage them to be strong and live their own life to the fullest.
This is a short but bitter sweet story. It brought tears to my eyes reading it. You could feel the love between this father and his son. There are 24 million children in America (one out of three) living without their biological father in their homes. The author did a great job writing this. This book was inspired from the authors personal experience of which he grew up with his father incarcerated. Because it is a short story I will not go into much detail, as to not give the story away before you read it.
A must read for all ages. This isn't just for a young child. While sad at times, it's a story about hope, survival, and unconditional love. We can still love and learn from those not present in our daily life. The words and illustrations are spectacular and moving. MSG
When his father doesn’t show up for their morning ritual, this young boy lists all the things he misses his Papa doing with him from making his favorite scrambled eggs to telling him that he loves him. He then lists the things his Papa will not be able to help him with when he gets older from fixing a car to shaving. He writes his Papa a letter telling him to come home, and after months of waiting he gets a return letter. His Papa writing down his words of wisdom as he himself cannot tell the boy in person. These words come from the heart touching on everyday subjects and reaching to intellectual advice, a father’s voice reaching out. The author’s own father was incarcerated so the author writes from the heart; you can feel in the writing the confusion and pain as the child comes to grip with his new reality. Some of the illustrations are remarkable and others were very interesting. I had to stop and analyze them to see everything that was occurring on the page. The depth of the illustrations, layers built on top of each other and images set upon one another, striking and precise. The illustrator used watercolors and collage to deliver this emotional book.
I always hear such negative comments when someone writes a book about growing up with a parent in prison, but the author's note points out a simple fact: it's a thing that happens, and it's HARD, so children need something to turn to to get a little sense out of what is happening. Beaty and Collier make sure to humanize the narrator's father and establish the bond between them before he disappears from the child's life. The message is clear: your parent being in prison does not mean they were a bad parent to you. And the crime being left ambiguous is important for allowing children to continue to believe in their parents.
Of course, many will still bemoan this book, but if we have picture books about OCD, riots, death, terrorist attacks, and other terrifying, confusing things, then why not have one that will help one of the 2.7 million children with a parent in prison?
While obviously this doesn't have a place in every household, this book is essential for libraries, social workers, school counselors, and others who work closely with children.
Dad’s Absence Many children start life with a dad and mom, but have to face life without a dad. Knock Knock adds meaning and purpose for those who wonder what it is like not to have dad and directions for those who do not. Supported by Afrocentric visions, the artwork and the words are clear and mysterious. A little boy recalls his dad’s fun and loving presence in the morning, at play and with the family. On morning his father disappears without explanation until a knock, knock letter appears to encourage him to follow his dreams. The author’s comments at the back of the book add meaning and explanation. You’ll want to read this easy reader several times. It’s a Coretta Scott King literary award winner.
I bought this book for one of my students who recently lost his dad. It was something I sent home with him and told his mom to read it with him. He is only in second grade and I am not sure he will fully understand the depths of what the book is saying, but in time he will. I loved the book and only hope it will bring peace to his heart.
I just saw Beatty's play on Paul Roberson, The Tallest Tree in the Forest. The man is a genius and this book is a rare find. While it could be enormously helpful to a child whose cherished father is not longer around, is is a beautifully written, sensitive book for all children. The pictures are handsomely done and the book is sturdy.
Wow! Talk about a story that will tug on your heart strings! Knock Knock is a tale from author Daniel Beaty’s own experiences growing up without a father. One day his father was there and very much present in his life and the next day he was not. In the afterward it is discovered that his father was incarcerated; however the story could have been about divorced parents or death as well. A very moving and inspirational example that shows regardless what the challenges of not having a father figure may bring, a person can still draw from their inner strength and make something of themselves. The illustrations by Bryan Collier were a beautiful accompaniment as well.
Wonderful book. Sent to my grandson who lost his grandfather that he loved so dearly. Easy to use the content for discussion (he is 8 years old) re. application to his own father and how I FEEL/REMEMBER my father. Incidentally, is applicable even if the father/grandfather has not rot is not in jail!