I was hoping for something different when I saw the cover of Knock Knock by Daniel Beaty. I was not completely sure what I excepted, but I thought it would be about the waiting for the knock and the joy we feel after we open it for that “surprise” on the other side. Be that surprise is a new sibling, a parent coming home from work or school or was in the service. Or the joy of having a grandparent or sibling that lives far away arrive. Instead, it is the voice of a young child talking about the game his father played with him to wake him in the morning. That is, until the day the knock did not come.
The child then must deal with the emotions they have because of the absence of the father. But the day he reads the letter from his father that is filled with advice on how to grow and deal with the times his father will not be there, he starts to be able to grow.
Bryan Collier’s signature style of soft, rich, deep colors pop off the page. They compliment the poetic feel to the text. They are detailed sweetly and with the needed amount of said details to help move the story along and to show you the words of the narrator and his father.
While most likely based on Beaty’s own experiences with his father and after his father’s incarceration, it is a book that can help deal with the loss of a parent (especially father) due to death, divorce, or incarceration. The feel of the story and lack of traditional action does make this for the older five and up crowd, but it is something all ages can appreciate.