The pain of losing a loved-one weighs like a heavy presence on those that are left behind. Death, is hard on the living. Thoughts of what was, what is and what could have been loom everywhere. The proverbial elephant in the room lumbers about, its presence felt, knocking things in its path. Carnavas, in his book The Elephant, a Middle Grade novel just recently released in North America, explores what happens when a young girl starts seeing an elephant hanging around her Dad, as he deals with the death of her mother, his wife.
The other day at school, a classmate got angry at me and said ‘Clown!’ So begins our story and our entry into this black, white, grey and red world created by Andrés and Hernández, where a boy walks us through a few moments in his life and the impact his two dads have had on it.
So, this is not a book that I would normally gravitate towards if I saw it on the shelf of a bookstore, or was shopping online. For one, the artwork on the cover does not catch my eye; for another, the title Because I’m Your Dad reminds me too much of “because I said so,” which to me is a non-ender for any argument with anyone. This book was a gift to me and my child, And, I am very happy we received it, because otherwise, we would have missed out on a solid read.
Next Sunday is Fathers’ Day. Why get Dad another tie that he probably will not use? Instead, get him a book that he can share with his child! All week we will be highlighting books that feature strong father figures, in heartwarming stories for readers of all ages. And, we have a special surprise!
Duchesne masterfully weaves a simple tale that elicits questions and provides few answers thereby creating necessary discussion. Death, after all, is a subject that is worthy of discussion and necessary to understand.
Joining Mr. Alex’s Bookshelf is Isabel Suárez, as our Director of Education. Ms. Suarez has a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, from the Florida International University; and, a Master’s in Early Childhood Education, and an Educational Specialist in Special Education with a concentration in Autism, from Nova Southeastern University.
I had a hard time with this picture book; at first. I couldn’t get my head around it. Try as I may, I stumbled over and over its pages. And then I realized what was wrong. As an adult, I was meant to stumble. The book, in its brilliance, gives adults a candid look at how a child feels when she is completely ignored, set aside, and looked over– all in the guise of an innocent picture book. For children, it gives voice to their frustration. It teaches them to nevertheless, persist.
Two great board books for your preschooler! Teach them how to count & strengthen those paternal bonds!
I am Brown is not a political book. Rather, it is a testament to everything Brown is; which is everything. Through simple recitation, it illuminates who a Brown child is, can be, and will be. It tells you that Brown people are everywhere and can do everything, With its gorgeous, rich, vibrant illustrations it is a simple, joyous celebration of being. And, although it is not a political book, it does make a political statement, albeit one that should not be political at all.