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A Day with Dad Hardcover – April 22, 2008
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From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—Tim and his mom are waiting at the train station for the arrival of his father, who lives in another town. They eat hot dogs, go to the movies, and visit the local pizzeria, and Tim proudly announces to everyone within earshot that this is his dad. As the special day draws to a close, Tim and his father go to the library, where they cuddle on a couch and read. Back at the station, Dad takes Tim aboard the train to look around, announcing to the passengers, "this is Tim. He is my son. He is the best son anyone could have." Then they say goodbye. As the boy and his mom watch the train depart, Tim knows that his father will be back. While this book succeeds in showing youngsters that even though parents may live apart, they still love their children, it leaves readers with a sad feeling. The colored-pencil illustrations, contained in tidy rectangles or squares, are rather dark and the overall effect is quite somber. An additional purchase where stories about divorce are needed.—Ieva Bates, Ann Arbor District Library, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Holmberg offers comfort and a guarded optimism to children dealing with their parents’ separation. Tim lives with his mom in a new town. As the book opens, his dad arrives via train to spend time with him. Holmberg tells the story of their day together with graceful understatement, making clear that the boy’s greatest happiness is just being with Dad again. He wants to make sure that everyone from the hot dog lady to the librarian knows that this man is his father. The pictures, like the text, aren’t flashy (familiar scenes are done with colored pencil in muted tones), but they convey strong emotions: the nervous expectation before Dad arrives, the pleasure of physical proximity, the slight unease both father and son feel at the end of the day. As the train disappears down the track taking Dad away, the narrator reminds young readers that one day soon, “The train will come back . . . And Tim will spend another day with Dad.” Grades K-3. --Abby Nolan
Top customer reviews
I was actually surprised that this was how the story was framed. I picked it up at the library thinking it would just be about father/son bonding. I still read it to my son (who has married parents) and he enjoyed it, but it is meant for the children of divorce. The final scene with the son at the train tracks ....I am tearing up just thinking about it because I had visitation on Sundays with my own father. It really is a good book if it can evoke such emotion.