At Daddy's on Saturdays

At Daddy's on Saturdays

by Linda Walvoord Girard

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Although her parents' divorce causes her to feel anger, concern, and sadness, Katie discovers that she can keep a loving relationship with her father even though he lives apart from her.


Although her parents' divorce causes her to feel anger, concern, and sadness, Katie discovers that she can keep a loving relationship with her father even though he lives apart from her.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Katie's parents divorce, and jointly decide that she should live with her mother, because her father travels so much. The narration concerns the adjustment of each member of the family to the father's living elsewhere. The author explores many truths: that the divorce seems ``like somebody was throwing someone else away,'' that being with her father on Saturdays is sometimes even boring, just like the old days, and that even after adjustment Katie still feels hurt ``and probably always will.'' The parents act as a team, telling their child that, no matter what happens in other families, this Daddy will always show up when he says he will. Sensitive watercolors enhance the various moods of the book, which isif not originalreassuring. Ages 5-8. (August)
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
It is hard for kids to understand why parents separate and get divorced. It is also difficult because there are so many changes, and the kids also may be concerned that they somehow are responsible for the breakup. Girard shows kids that good can come out of an unhappy situation. Katie's parents have divorced, but they both care about her. They work very hard to provide homes that she is a part of and reassurance that, no matter what, they will love her. The emphasis here is on Dad leaving, getting a new place, but making a major effort to keep Katie as an integral part of his life.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3 Young children will find reassurance in this realistic but warm story of a divorce told from a young girl's point of view. The story begins on the day that Katie's father moves out and ends months later, after Katie, her mother, and father all have had a chance to adjust to the change in their lives. The sadness, guilt, and confusion typically felt by a child of divorce is honestly portrayed, but so is the unconditional love that both parents continue to feel for Katie. The soft, warm style of Friedman's realistic watercolors in muted colors supports the tone of the story. The best of the many other books on this topic are Caines' Daddy (Harper, 1977), Dragonwagon's Always (Macmillan, 1984), Lexau's Emily and the Klunky Baby and the Next-Door Dog (Dial, 1972), Helmering's I Have Two Families (Abingdon, 1981), and Schuchman's Two Places to Sleep (Carolrhoda, 1979). Girard's book will make an additional choice for children coping with their parents' divorce. Barbara S. McGinn, Oak Hill Elementary School, Severna Park, Md.

Product Details

Whitman, Albert & Company
Publication date:
Albert Whitman Concept Books Series
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.70(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

At Daddy's On Saturdays

By Linda Walvoord Girard, Judith Friedman


Copyright © 1987 Linda Walvood Girard
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8075-0475-8


The Saturday that Daddy moved away because of the divorce, he packed his blue car and a small trailer full. He sweated and puffed, but Mommy didn't help. And Katie was too sad to help.

When Daddy was finished, he knelt down next to Katie. He tried to explain things one more time. "Mommy and I can't live together anymore," he said. "We fight all the time, and we make each other unhappy. I don't want to leave you, but I have to." It was cold, and his words made white puffs. He circled Katie in his biggest hug. "I don't have a phone yet, but I'll call you Monday after work. I'll be here next Saturday to see you. I'll always be your Daddy."

Then he rolled out of the driveway in his blue car and was gone.

"Katie, come on in," Mommy called. She made hot chocolate and held Katie on her lap. For a while they rocked quietly.

That weekend, Katie was so sad she didn't want to do anything. She told her doll, Trisha, "You have to go away, too!" She threw Trisha into the wastebasket. Trisha was Katie's best doll, but that's how Katie felt.

She knew Mommy and Daddy quarreled a lot, but why did they have to get divorced? It seemed like some- body was throwing somebody else away.

All Monday, Katie's chest was like a heavy stone. When she woke up, she was happy for one second-until she re-membered Daddy was gone. He didn't come in to say "Rise and shine!" His chair at the breakfast table was empty. It seemed like there was a big hole in the air, next to the back door where Daddy's snow boots used to be.

While everybody else practiced subtracting in school, Katie studied the clouds. Her favorite lunch tasted awful. Walking home, she quarreled with her best friend.

When Daddy called from a pay phone that night, Katie felt even worse. She could hear traffic behind him, and he sounded as far off as the moon. After he hung up, Katie cried, and so did Mommy.

On Tuesday, Katie took Trisha to school. Trisha never left Katie all day.

Even with Trisha and the children near, Katie felt alone. And her thoughts were a jumble. One minute she tried to pretend Daddy was on a little trip. He hadn't really GONE AWAY. The next minute, she didn't care how far away he was. If he wanted to leave her, she'd just erase him, like a problem from the blackboard. The next minute, she worried that Daddy would be all alone at Christmas! Most of all, she was confused that Daddy and Mommy could stop loving each other. If that could happen, Daddy could forget her, too.

Mommy guessed how very terrible she felt when Katie wet the bed that night. Mommy changed the sheets and tucked her back in.

"You're sad, Katie. So am I. It's okay. We'll feel better someday."

But someday was a long way off.

On Wednesday, when Katie came home from school, there was a letter waiting for her! Mommy read it out loud. It said, "Dear Katie: Here is a very important phone number. It's mine! Now you can call whenever you want. Love, Daddy."

Katie dialed the number FAST, and Daddy answered on the first ring. "I hoped you'd call right away," he said.

Daddy told Katie what he was doing. Just now he was moving the sofa. For the third time. "It looks funny, Katie," he said. "You have to come Saturday and help me figure out where to put this stuff. You like moving furniture!"


Excerpted from At Daddy's On Saturdays by Linda Walvoord Girard, Judith Friedman. Copyright © 1987 Linda Walvood Girard. Excerpted by permission of ALBERT WHITMAN & Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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