With Dad

Holiday House/Neal Porter. May 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823444953.
K-Gr 4–Jackson, who passed away in 2019, pulls from his own experience for this gentle account of a fishing trip with a father who later goes to fight in a distant war. The trip is described in rich detail from the perspective of the boy as he sits on his father’s lap to drive their truck, helps to pitch a tent, catches and guts a fish, and listens to night creatures under the stars. The boy thinks of this trip at the end of the story when it is winter and he is waiting for his father to come home from the war. Floca uses pen, ink, and watercolor to paint the landscape of a Michigan summer day. These thoughtful illustrations place the story most likely during World War II, but the story is relevant in describing the emotions of a child missing someone any time, for any conflict.
VERDICT Although this quiet story may get lost in larger collections, it’s a perfect text to use for personal narrative units.

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