Book Review: Knock Knock - My Dad's Dream for Me

Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream For Me
Author: Daniel Beaty
Illustrator: Bryan Collier

From the Book Jacket: Every morning, I play a game with my father. He goes KNOCK KNOCK on my door, and I pretend to be asleep till he gets right next to the bed. And my papa, he tells me, "I love you."

But what happens when, one day, that KNOCK KNOCK doesn't come? This powerful and inspiring book shows the love that an absent parent can leave behind, and the strength that children find in themselves as they grow up and follow their dreams.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: This is the one of the most powerful books I've read all year. There are many children in my school dealing with an absent parent. 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.

At the end of the book Author Daniel Beaty gives the reader insight as to why he wrote this book. I'm forever changed because of it. Daniel, thank you for opening your heart so that so many others could be opened too.

Author's Note
When I was a small child, my father was my principal caregiver. While my mother was at the office working, my father would change my diapers, feed me, and let me ride on his shoulders to the grocery store. He also woke me up each morning with our private Knock Knock game. When I was three, he was incarcerated. My mother took me to visit him in prison, and he was behind glass. This experience was traumatic for me, and I was not allowed to visit my father again in prison for many years. As I grew older, I became aware of the tremendous void created by my father's absence. On my journey to adulthood, I realized how important it was for me to address the pain created by this separation. Later, as an educator of small children, I discovered how many of my students were also dealing with the loss of a father from incarceration, divorce, or sometimes even death. This experience prompted me to tell the story of this loss from a child's perspective and also to offer hope that every fatherless child can still create the most beautiful life possible.

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