When Papa Comes Home Tonight


When Papa comes home tonight, dear child,
(I promise - not too late)
you'll hear me whistling up the road.
You'll meet me at the gate.

It can be hard waiting for Papa to come home, but it'll be worth it because you'll both have so much fun when he does! From singing songs and making dinner to playing all the way until bedtime, just hanging ...

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When Papa comes home tonight, dear child,
(I promise - not too late)
you'll hear me whistling up the road.
You'll meet me at the gate.

It can be hard waiting for Papa to come home, but it'll be worth it because you'll both have so much fun when he does! From singing songs and making dinner to playing all the way until bedtime, just hanging with Papa is one of the most joyous ways to end the day.

Eileen Spinelli's highly anticipated follow-up to the bestselling When Mama Comes Home Tonight, complete with gorgeous illustrations from David McPhail, is a soothing celebrtion of simple moments shared between parent and child.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carolyn Mott Ford
This lovely book is a sequel, or perhaps a companion might be the better word, to the author's When Mama Comes Home Tonight. The heartwarming pictures by the illustrator, who himself is the author of many books including the touching story of The Teddy Bear, add an extra dimension to this story of a young boy who looks forward to Papa's returning home from work. The details in the drawings, of pets and homey touches in the kitchen scene, add realism. Interestingly, the story is told from the father's point of view. This is a beautiful aspect of the tale for a very young child, because it shows that Papa looks forward to the evening just as much as the child does. The gentle, rhyming text makes this a beautiful bedtime story as in, "The stars will shine, the moon will splash/its light across the lawn./We'll put on our pajamas./I'll be the first to yawn." This would be a thoughtful gift for the new father. Reviewer: Carolyn Mott Ford
School Library Journal


A sweet ode to family life, beautifully illustrated in pencil, pen-and-ink, and watercolor. The story opens with a boy waiting for his father at the front gate as Dad walks up the road. They play, make dinner, clean up, and read bedtime stories together. The rhyming phrases are gentle but not cloying: "And when we wash the dishes,/you'll teach me that new song-/the one you learned a week ago./I'll try to sing along." McPhail's artwork adds telling details and varying perspectives, including those of the family pets. This lovely picture book is sure to be a bedtime favorite.-Laura Stanfield, Campbell County Public Library, Ft. Thomas, KY

Kirkus Reviews
Spinelli's When Mama Comes Home Tonight, illustrated by Jane Dyer (1998), celebrated the nightly reunion of working mother with child. This companion presents readers with a working father (the frontispiece shows him dashing out of a bank, briefcase in hand) who joyfully meets his waiting child at the gate at the end of the day. The child has either been home alone all day or his caregiver has snuck out the back door, as McPhail provides no evidence of any other nurturing presence as the two cook and eat dinner, play, repair a toy wagon and enjoy a bedtime story. This overachieving dad even makes his kid a kite while he's asleep. While Spinelli's verse scans as gracefully as in its companion, this makes for an odd alternative-family portrait. (Picture book. 2-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416910282
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
  • Publication date: 4/28/2009
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,244,415
  • Age range: 1 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.70 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Eileen Spinelli

Eileen Spinelli is no stranger to the Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers list. Since her debut in 1991 with Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, an IRA/CBC Children's Choice book and Christopher Award winner, she has gone on to author numerous picture books, poetry collections, and chapter books, including the best-selling When Mama Comes Home Tonight, and the critically acclaimed Sophie's Masterpiece. Eileen lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

David McPhail has written and illustrated more than fifty books for children, including the New York Times bestselling When Sheep Sleep by Laura Numeroff (Abrams), When Papa Comes Home Tonight by Eileen Spinelli (BFYR), and his own Mole Music (Holt), which was a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year. He lives in Rye, New Hampshire.

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