Friday, July 19, 2013

Saturday is Dadurday by Robin Pulver, illustrated by R. W. Alley

I thought this was going to be another one of those saccharine mommy (or in this case daddy) love books and avoided it for some time. I should have realized that Robin Pulver's conventional but cheery stories and Alley's endearing pen and ink style would not let me down.

Mimi loves her special days with her dad. Every Saturday is Dadurday and together they plan wonderful adventures, from making pancakes to going to the library. But what will happen to Dadurday when Dad's work schedule changes?

Pulver and Alley have created a story that's sweet without being saccharine. Kids and parents will easily recognize their own feelings of disappointment and frustration when things don't work out. I loved that the author portrayed so clearly a child's devastation when a tradition that they've come to expect ends and the frustration with grown-up concerns that don't make sense in their world. There's no happily-ever-after where Dad's schedule gets changed back and everything comes right, but Mimi manages her own happy ending, growing up a little as she learns to be flexible and see things from another perspective.

There's plenty of solid cheeriness in Alley's illustrations showing the mischievous dog, tired Dad, and exhausted Mom, not to mention the twins, but the real genius of the pictures is the simple delight the reader sees in the bond between father and daughter as they celebrate Dadurday together in many different ways.

Verdict: Of course this will be a popular choice around Father's Day, but it makes a sweet father-daughter read any time of the year. The best storytime audience will need to be a little older, say kindergarten to pick up all the details of the story and empathize with Mimi's feelings and actions.

ISBN: 9780802786913; Published 2013 by Walker Books/Bloomsbury; Borrowed from another library in my consortium; Added to the library's order list

No comments: