Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me

Book Summary: 

Knock, Knock refers to the morning routine that an African-American son and his father do every day.  One morning though the father does not come and for consecutive mornings still does not come.  So the boy writes the father a letter about all the things he misses learning from him.  In return, the boy receives a letter from his father encouraging him to be strong and self-reliant.  Beautiful illustrations combining collage and watercolor aid in the telling of this story set in an urban area.  

Daniel Beaty
Bryan Collier
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Guiding Question: 

The absence of a parent whether from divorce, death or other circumstances is traumatic for any child.  How does the boy in this story move on from the temporary loss of his father?  

Howard’s Format from You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know (73-85): 

Honesty- Bryan Collier combines watercolor and collage to create the illustrations.  What elements of the illustrations assist in telling the story?  (Hint: look at the rainbow in the story and look up what elephants symbolize in African cultures) 

Empathy- How would you feel if one of your caregivers did not come home one day?

Advocacy- Identify organizations that assist young people who may be missing or lacking strong role models in their lives. 

Action- In the story, the boy receives a letter from his father telling him to be confident, self-reliant and to dream still.  What is something you have learned to do on your own?  


Book reviewed by Kathleen Barill, Director of Heterick Memorial Library, ONU