It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date, and adapted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts with a children’s/YA focus. This weekly roundup is a great way to discover new blogs and bloggers, share recommended (or not so recommended….) titles, and add to your ever-growing to-read list.
Title: Boats for Papa
Author/Illustrator: Jessixa Bagley
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: 2015
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book
My Two Cents: I’m not crying…*sniff*…I’ve just got something in my eye…*sniff*….OK, I’ll admit it, this deeply moving picture book left me a bit misty-eyed with its gentle, light-handed approach to longing, grief, and loss. Little Buckley longs for his Papa, sending boats out to sea in the hopes that one of them will reach his father, wherever he’s gone. I don’t want to ruin the book’s ending, as that might take away from some of the story’s joy, but suffice it to say that Buckley and his Mama each discover how much the other loves them, which is depicted in a quiet, understated way. It is never explicitly stated what has happened to Papa, or where he’s gone. Perhaps Papa has died, perhaps he has left the family, or perhaps he’s gone far away to sea and might never return. This open-ended storyline allows all sorts of different children to see themselves in Buckley, and to be comforted by his experiences. There are a number of different ways to lose or be separated from a loved one, whether temporarily or permanently.
Boats for Papa doesn’t set out to provide easy answers to life’s big questions, or offer ready solutions for life’s major challenges. Sometimes just knowing that there are others out there who share your longing or sadness can be enough to provide some comfort in tough times.
Now tell me, what have you been reading this week?