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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Every Friday, written and illustrated by Dan Yaccarino. Henry Holt, 2007. $18.95 ages 3 and up

"Every Friday, my son, Michael and I have breakfast together at the corner diner. Since he turned three, this has been our special time together and our favorite day of the week. I hope that you, too, will start a little tradition like ours."  (Author's note)

If you can look back on life at home with your parents, or you have young children now, you might want to take a close look at this heartfelt book from Dan Yaccarino. It concerns a weekly ritual between a father and his son.

Each Friday morning they head off together. As they walk along neighborhood streets, they peruse shop windows, chat together, greet the regulars, and make their way to their favorite diner. It doesn't matter the weather; nothing gets in the way of a father and his son taking time to do something special and familiar each and every Friday. As they wait for their order to be delivered to their table, they chat about things that are important to them. They watch the people inside the diner and outside, and enjoy each other's company. It is a tradition to be savored and protected.

The artwork is done in bold color, clear images and reminds me of growing up in the 1950s. Check carefully for the reminders of times past that this distinguished artist chooses to share with his audience. Each spread allows the reader insight into the joy that the two feel in spending time together. The warmth of those weekly walks is evident in the warmth of the background colors chosen and the mood created.

It serves as a great mentor text for use when encouraging young writers to consider memoir, and family traditions that others might like to read. A walk around that memory will add details that make the writing personal and poignant. Nothing like a fond memory, or a family ritual to encourage that! They belong to all of us, and will be eagerly shared given a safe and accepting place to do the writing.

Father's Day will be upon us before we know it. If you are looking for a story that your son might share with his father or grandfather, look no further!

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