A written review by Adrienne
A father’s absence is strongly felt in a young boy’s life.
Every morning a father and son begin their ritual. The son waits under the covers for his father to come knock, knock on his door. Hearing no response from the pretending son the father enters the room. The son jumps into his father’s arms to say good morning. They then start their day with the son’s favorite breakfast, getting ready for school and helping with homework. One morning the father is not there to do the morning ritual and begin their day. As the days and weeks pass the son is missing his father and all that they did together. He writes a letter to his father leaving it on his desk in the hopes it will be found while the son is at school. Time passes before there is a response. The father cannot return home, it is not explained why, but he loves his son and he hopes that he will continue knock, knocking on doors and opening them to a better future.
Collier’s illustrations use of watercolor collage truly captures the mood and tone of the story. Everyday life is beautifully created with nuances that make the pictures real.
Beaty writes a loving story between a father and son and the immense impact an absence of a caring and giving parent can have on a child. Not knowing what happened to the father is a large hole in the story that begs conversation between parent and child on the possible outcomes. Beaty’s authors note at the end of the story cites his own relationship with his father as the basis of the story and the reason why his father left. By leaving that information in the author’s note it does create a problem in the actual story which could have had potential gain in the discussion between parents and children. The question remains: is the story about the father and son relationship more central to the story and what the author wanted to convey as opposed to including what actually happened?