When Dad's at Sea
by Mindy Pelton
Emily’s dad is in the military and sometimes he has to leave for months at a time. Emily knows her dad’s job is important, but she doesn’t want him to leave! Her dad tells her how he copes with his sadness, and he even makes her a paper chain to count down the days of his trip.
Still, Emily is very sad when he leaves. But as each day goes by, it begins to get a little bit easier. Her mom is there to help, and with each link Emily takes down from the paper chain, she is one day closer to her dad’s return. When she makes a friend whose dad has also shipped out, she realizes that she is not the only one who feels like she does. They count down the days together and celebrate their fathers’ return.
In Mindy Pelton's When Dad's at Sea, Emily's father, a Navy pilot, is leaving for a six-month deployment on an aircraft carrier. Each day he is gone, she removes one link from the paper chain he made for her, so that she can mark the days until his return. She misses him, but finds comfort in his e-mails and calls, and she even makes a new friend. The time frame of the story and the use of sensory details create a strong sense of Emily's loss, her slow adjustment, and her joy at her father's return. Steele's impressionistic, delicately colored watercolor paintings sensitively depict Emily and her surroundings.--Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
School Library Journal
Emily has to deal with a long separation from her father, a Navy pilot, who goes to sea for a six-month deployment. To cope, she tears off a piece of a paper chain every day that he is gone, traces his journey on a map, and communicates with him via e-mail and telephone. With her mother's support and the help of a friend whose father is on the same ship, Emily feels less lonely. Warm text with soft watercolor illustrations results in a sensitive and caring title for those service families who go through long separations from loved ones. However, the Navy reflects the diversity of our country, so it's unfortunate that the book's illustrations don't show it. Still, the book is certainly useful for children needing this type of material.–Pamela K. Bomboy, Chesterfield County Public Schools, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
10” x 8” paperback