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Winner of the 2014 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Book Award
A 2014 Boston Globe-Horn Book Picture Book Honor Book
A 2013 Parents' Choice Award Winner for Picture Books
"Bryan Collier's richly textured illustrations and the lyricism of Beaty's text-with its echoes of spoken-word poetry-make this story of bereavement also a story of possibility and beauty."—The New York Times Sunday Book Review
"Challenging but ultimately uplifting, Knock Knock is a thoughtful meditation on grappling with the sometimes uneasy legacy passed down to us by our parents."—The Huffington Post
*"By sharing his experience, explained in an afterword, Beaty lends his voice to children struggling with the absence of a parent and the grief that goes with it."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"The text, powerful and spare, is well supported by Collier's watercolor and collage art...there is a lot going on in the mind of any child who has been denied a parent, for whatever reason. In this book they will find comfort and inspiration."—The Horn Book
"A poignant [and] heart-wrenching tale of love, loss, and hope."—School Library Journal
"The desire for guidance encountering life's experiences is told from a small child's point of view with candor, as well as hope...."—Booklist
"The intimate nature of the text and the detailed visual environment are more suited for close sharing than a storytime, but the book's versatility suggests that it will see extended use."—The Bulletin
Posted December 22, 2013
Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
Knock Knock addresses a tough issue in a gentle manner. Author Daniel Beaty presents a young child who is deeply loved by his father and in return, the father is an important role model for the child. One day, the father simply disappears from the child's life and the boy wonders if he will ever see his father again. Finally, he writes a letter and in time, he receives a letter back saying the father will no longer be in his son's life. The father assures the son that despite being an absent father, he will continue to love the boy and that the boy should honor the love he has for his father by growing to be a strong and responsible man.
The book is beautifully illustrated by Bryan Collier and it is easily apparent that much of the success of Knock Knock is the way the illustrations enhance the written word. This is a powerful book about absent fathers. Whether a child has lost a father to divorce, death, or incarceration, the book will surely be instrumental in commencing the healing process. The author's own father was absent due to incarceration and it is readily apparent that the pain of the separation was effectively transferred to the pages of the book. It is a book which might best be read by the child and his/her caretaker as questions will surely arise. As separation from a parent is one of the most difficult and painful events in childhood, parents and affected children will surely benefit from beginning the healing process by taking in the messages of this book.
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Posted November 10, 2014
When his father doesn’t show up for their morning ritual, this young boy lists all the things he misses his Papa doing with him from making his favorite scrambled eggs to telling him that he loves him. He then lists the things his Papa will not be able to help him with when he gets older from fixing a car to shaving. He writes his Papa a letter telling him to come home, and after months of waiting he gets a return letter. His Papa writing down his words of wisdom as he himself cannot tell the boy in person. These words come from the heart touching on everyday subjects and reaching to intellectual advice, a father’s voice reaching out. The author’s own father was incarcerated so the author writes from the heart; you can feel in the writing the confusion and pain as the child comes to grip with his new reality. Some of the illustrations are remarkable and others were very interesting. I had to stop and analyze them to see everything that was occurring on the page. The depth of the illustrations, layers built on top of each other and images set upon one another, striking and precise. The illustrator used watercolors and collage to deliver this emotional book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.