Children's Literature - Children's LiteratureIt is difficult to accept clothed talking animals, particularly when the tone of the text is really at an adult level. The subject is Dad's drinking and the anguish it causes in the family. This therapeutic book ends with hope ( hope that Charlie's Dad will learn to control his drinking, and hope that the family will get needed support from Al-Anon. A useful selection in the hands of an adult working with a young child facing a problem with an alcoholic parent.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalK-Gr 3-Charlie's father drinks too much. His parents are quarrelsome and irritable, and Charlie begins to blame himself: ``Maybe Dad wouldn't drink so much if I was a better boy.'' One day his frustration over his troubled home life flares up and he confides in his kindly teacher. Later, he eats dinner with a friend and her loving family and wishes he could stay with them. When his father picks him up, though, he knows that his dad loves him. He continues to hope that things will return to the way they were before the drinking became such a problem. A final note explains that many families suffer from similar situations and that there are support groups for them. The complex issues of alcoholism and its effects on the abuser's loved ones are thoughtfully handled, and Carrick does a fine job of presenting Charlie's feelings. Apple's lively, colored-pencil drawings of the anthropomorphic orangutan characters balance out the poignancy of the text. Although it can be read independently, the book is better suited to sharing with adults as it's sure to prompt questions and discussion.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
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