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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Because Your Daddy Loves You, written by Andrew Clements and illustrated by R. W. Alley. Houghton, Thomas Allen. 2005. $8.99 ages 3 and up

"When the car is packed for the beach
and you can't find your other shoe,
your daddy could say,
You should put things where they belong.
But he doesn't."

The Dad is this book is often called on and, for a variety of reasons. It might be a bad dream. He could reassure his daughter with a quiet hush; but he doesn't. Instead, he climbs into bed right alongside her and stays until sleep comes again. It might be a lost shoe...again, he might offer a reminder that it helps to put things back where they belong. But, does he? Nope, he looks in every nook and cranny where that shoe might be and when found, helps tie it so that it won't get lost again.

In this reassuring homage to fathers everywhere, Andrew Clements offers up a number of scenes that are undoubtedly reminiscent of times in most kids' lives. Things do not always go well; but patience, love and strong guidance will win out in the end.

A day with Dad can be full of fun and laughter, as well as trying and tiring. This Dad may think the things that he could say, or show annoyance, or be sharp. He does not. And so, the day is a perfect one for both child and father.

R. W. Alley creates the scenes with all the fun in mind. The excursion to the sea offers up many adventures in a day filled with shared moments. Children will love to pore over the many little details that they see in the watercolor drawings. Each one may be a reminder to the child listening of a special time spent with Dad that begs sharing with friends and classmates. It is a great readaloud and offers up many small vignettes that happen between father and daughter.

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