Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hugs and Kisses for Military Fathers

The two books I'll be highlighting today are perfect for Father's Day, but especially for military dads and families - to whom I dedicate this post.
As the daughter of a man who travelled a lot because of his tireless vocation in church ministry,  I can relate to children of military dads. Their fathers are missed terribly during prolonged and frequent absences, but are greeted with insurmountable joy at their homecomings!

My own son-in-law, having recently joined the Naval Reserves, was away from my daughter and grandson and his family for three months during Boot Camp.  Their happy reunion was full of tears and smiles, as well as relief and exhaustion, after an acknowledgement of hard work, sacrifice, and a job well done was showered upon the graduates at their Pass and Review ceremony when Boot Camp was finally over.
Any parent who travels for work, or reunites with their family at the end of a long workday, can relate to these emotions in microcosm - so I think all parents and young children will love these book recommendations!

The first book is The Fathers Are Coming Home, by Margaret Wise Brown.  She wrote it between 1942-43 for WWII soldiers, but it was only recently published (2010). The illustrations are by Steven Savage.  I blogged about this book in the past, here. (My little grandson actually gave this book to his Daddy after Boot Camp graduation, for an early Father's Day gift.)
I absolutely love Savage's linoleum block print illustrations in this story that begins with fathers coming home at nightfall - fish fathers, bug fathers, dog fathers, bird fathers, and snail fathers (my grandson's favorite), to name a few - and ends with a boy's father, who is a sailor, coming home from sea.

The second book I'm sharing with you today is Catching Kisses (2103) by Amy Gibson.  My daughter found this book recently at the library, and we both were reminded of The Father's Are Coming Home.  We fell in love with Maria Van Lieshout's wonderfully detailed silhouette illustrations.
This story is about kisses and their journey all across America - your children are bound to recognize a few of the places that the kisses land in!  "At any given moment, someone, somewhere is blowing a kiss.  And somewhere, someone is catching it..."
Hints are given in the lyrical text (but there's also a map with locations on the back end page): "Some are velvet as peach fuzz. Some tickle like whiskers. Everyday, everywhere, kisses are flying..."
Kisses are meant to be caught and when you catch them, they stay with you always!
So whether you're a father at home, or afar, "Happy Father's Day!"

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