My Dad

Overview

A moving, honest and forthright story about the effects of alcoholism on a family. Every Friday night Dad drinks beer and gets boisterous with his friends. Later on he and Mom argue. Finally, with the support of an AA member--and of his family--Dad admits his problem and begins to get the help he needs. Full color.

A father's drinking causes pain and embarrassment to his family, until he begins to attend Alcoholics Anonymous ...

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Overview

A moving, honest and forthright story about the effects of alcoholism on a family. Every Friday night Dad drinks beer and gets boisterous with his friends. Later on he and Mom argue. Finally, with the support of an AA member--and of his family--Dad admits his problem and begins to get the help he needs. Full color.

A father's drinking causes pain and embarrassment to his family, until he begins to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The delicate issue of alcoholism is thoughtfully explored in Daly's (Not So Fast, Songololo) latest picture book. Though the brother and sister featured here dearly love their father, they are embarrassed and increasingly anxious about his drinking. Friday nights start with music and laughter as Dad and his drinking buddies gather around the kitchen table, but the evenings always end in a heated argument between Dad and Mom. A Friday-night school concert becomes the turning point; Dad shows up drunk and humiliates his children, who had practiced their act in secret in hopes he wouldn't attend. The tale ends on a hopeful note, however, with Dad persuaded to join Alcoholics Anonymous. Daly's gentle touch extends to both words and pictures: her sensitive, graceful prose is coupled with soft-focus watercolors that underscore the poignancy of her characters' struggles. In one particularly moving scene, the children hover just beneath a cozy family portrait as they watch their parents argue over a bottle of liquor that Mom is trying to pour down the sink. For a certain audience, this book could be tremendously healing. Ages 5-8. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
Dad is good-hearted, but acts awfully strange when he drinks too much. He gives things away, fights with Mom, and ruins the school concert before agreeing to go to an AA meeting. This is thoughtfully done, but gives me pause. Do children in this age group truly need a tract on alcoholism?
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-A reassuring, first-person account of living with a loving parent who is an alcoholic. The narrator and his sister observe that Dad's raucous routine of Friday-night beer drinking changes his personality and leads to arguments between their parents. When the children are asked to perform in a school concert, they worry that their friends will see what their father is like when he drinks. Predictably, he turns up rowdy and drunk at the performance. The youngsters leave the stage embarrassed and in tears, and Dad is taken home by a perceptive parent who introduces him to A.A. There he comes to understand that he is sick and also to realize that his family is the most important thing in his life. The text is gently written but direct, and the ending is filled with hope. The paintings have a softened style and a subtle palette that belie the underlying pain of the situation. This book offers a more optimistic portrayal for a slightly older audience than Judith Vigna's I Wish Daddy Didn't Drink So Much (Albert Whitman, 1988), in which, realistically, the child acknowledges that her father may break his promises to her again because of his ``sickness.'' Daly's book is less ambiguous than Chris Raschka's Elizabeth Imagined an Iceberg (Orchard, 1994), and will be a useful bibliotherapeutic purchase where needed.-Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT
Mary Harris Veeder
The narrator and his sister love their Dad when he's jolly but not "when he is boozy and silly." After embarrassing them during a school show, Dad finally turns to Alcoholics Anonymous. With violence and economic hardship left out of the equation, the story focuses on the mixture of love, mortification, and fear the children feel before Dad recognizes his problem. Dad is not a monster. He's a frightened man coming to terms with his lack of control, and because his good qualities are emphasized in the story, readers will want him to recover, not just disappear from his children's lives. Mom, too, is portrayed as leading a difficult life. On the one hand, she keeps things normal for the kids; on the other, she tries to convince her husband to seek help. Children will see the whole picture quite clearly, from a peer's point of view.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689506208
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.39 (w) x 10.33 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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