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June Books: Let’s Celebrate Dads & Granddads!

By on May 31, 2016

Fathers (and mothers, too!) who read to their children are planting seeds. Reading to a child nurtures attention to sound, pictures, and detail. Reading aloud enlarges vocabulary. It’s difficult to say a word, or read and write it, if you’ve never heard it.

Reading aloud to his own child can also provide Dad with nightly one-on-one time. Time spent in such a meaningful way often becomes an opportunity for conversation and creates an emotional bond. Finally, reading to a child can give Dad a chance to meet again the child he used to be! (Jim Trelease)

In honor of Dad, take time to read one of these outstanding stories with your child! Happy Father’s Day!

by Meribeth  C. Shank

There, There

by Sam McBratney, illustrated by Ivan Bates

BOOKS_thereHansie Bear, who loves to pretend, repeatedly gets into difficulties. First, when he tries to “walk like a duck,” he hurts his knee when he falls into a deep ditch. Dad comes to help. He bandages the knee, gives Hansie a hug, and says a comforting, “There, there.”
Then, the wind blows sand in Hansie’s eyes while he digs a hole. Dad cuddles him, using the comforting refrain. When Hansie is playing on the swing, he bumps his head hard on a branch. Dad sees what happened. Rubbing Hansie’s head, Dad is there again with the repeated words of comfort. Later, all the friends have gone home from playing hide-and-seek. Hansie sees his father limping home. Mom comes to help, pulling out the thorn from Dad’s foot. Hansie knows what to do!
Mixed media illustrations in muted colors show a breezy day. Animals with soft, rounded shapes and expressive faces demonstrate curiosity, imagination and caring. The father is close at hand; hanging clothes on the laundry line, watching from nearby, sharing a hug to reassure Hansie after minor injuries. This adorable story shows a wonderful, nurturing father and son bond.
Candlewick Press, $15.99 Interest Level: Junior Kindergarten – Grade 2. (This book is available to purchase from local and online booksellers.)

Druthers

by Matt Phelan

BOOKS_druthersIt’s a rainy morning and Penelope is bored. Dad asks her, “If you had your druthers, what would you do?” After Dad’s brief explanation, Penelope cuts loose her imagination: “I would go to the zoo.” Dad plays along by becoming a gorilla on the staircase. Her next “druthers” is to be a cowgirl; so they rustle up hats and, using a lasso, wrangle several stuffed animals. When she decides to be a pirate, they sail to the “island of dinosaurs!” Later, they take a rocket ship to the “biggest moon party ever!”
Ink and watercolor artwork moves from gray to great, mixing up a lively view of a warm, adventurous and loving relationship. Text matches with images, to show daddy and daughter in happy imaginary play. Dad is not only patient: he’s also creative in the use of a wide variety of toys. This increases the merry time together. It’s not surprising that Penelope’s final druthers are that “it would rain tomorrow, too.”
Candlewick Press, $15.99 Interest Level: Pre-Kindergarten – Kindergarten. (This book is available to borrow at the Miami Dade Library: West Dade Regional, West End Regional. Also, may be purchased from local and online
booksellers.)

Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box

by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein, illustrated by James E. Ransome

BOOKS_granddaddyMichael imitates his granddaddy, and wears a tie for what he thinks, at first, is a trip to the county fair. But Granddaddy explains that he’s going to vote, for the first time. Michael snaps a photo of Granddaddy proudly holding his ballot. But the happiness is quickly over. A deputy requires Granddaddy to read. Granddaddy cannot. The deputy tears up the ballot. He sends Granddaddy away without voting.
Vigorous watercolor artwork, by awardwinning artist Ransome, shows a farmhouse, landscape and fishing dock washed in sunlit brilliance. Love, patience, and hard work are demonstrated through the thoughtful coupling of text with illustrations.
The story skips ahead then, to a grownup Michael, sitting at a desk, remembering Granddaddy who “passed away before he got a chance to vote.” And finally, on the last double page spread, when Michael puts his own “ballot in the box,” he is carrying the photo of Granddaddy. A note at the back supplies context for the historical setting of this stirring tale. It is “based on one family’s experience in the struggle for voting rights” during the segregation era in the South.
Candlewick Press, $16.99 Interest Level: Grades 1-3. (This book is available to borrow at the Miami Dade Library: Main, Allapattah,
Little River, Miami Beach Regional, North Dade Regional, West Dade Regional. Also, may be purchased from local and online booksellers.)

More Terrific Titles to Share:

Superhero Dad
by Timothy Knapman, illustrated by Joe Berger
Candlewick Press, $15.99
Interest Level: Junior Kindergarten – Grade 2
(This book is available to purchase from local and online booksellers.)

A Tale of Two Daddies
by Vanita Oelschlager, illustrations by Kristin Blackwood and Mike Blanc
Vanita Books, $15.95 (hardcover) $8.95 (paperback)
Interest Level: Junior Kindergarten – Grade 1
(This book is available to purchase from local and online booksellers.)

Always My Dad
by Sharon Dennis Wyeth, illustrated by Raul Colon Alfred A. Knopf
Interest Level: Kindergarten – Grade 3
(This book is available to borrow at the Miami Dade Library: Main Branch, Little River, North Dade Regional, West End Regional.)

Father’s Rubber Shoes
by Yumi Heo
Orchard Books, $14.95
Interest Level: Grades 1-3
(This book is available to borrow at the Miami Dade Library: Main Branch, North Dade Regional, West Dade Regional, West End Regional.)


Meribeth Shank works in the Media Center at Miami Country Day School, an independent school in
Miami Shores, Florida, has taught classes on Writing Books for Children, and earned her MFA in Writing
for children from Vermont College. You can also find her on the web: http://meribeths.blogspot.com

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