DAD AND ME by Peter Catalanotto


Age Range: 5 - 8
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It’s June 3, 1965—the day of Gemini Four and the US’s first space walk. Tommy is enthralled with astronauts, rockets, walkie-talkies, spaceships, and the pending moon walk. He creates a helmet out of a colander and uses a rope to simulate a lifeline. He cannot wait to share this historic moment with his father, but when his father returns from work in a foul mood, Tommy feels like he’s already been disconnected and is floating aimlessly in space. Tommy is reprimanded for wearing his helmet to the dinner table and is sent to his room unfairly. Out of desperation, Tommy designs a message for his father using the daily newspaper; he places a photograph of his face over an astronaut’s to remind his dad that he wants to be an astronaut in the future. He cannot think of any other way to get through to his father, who is able to put whatever happened at the office behind him and reconnect to his son’s world. Catalanotto’s watercolors deftly capture both Tommy’s disappointment and his longing for adventure; the period of the 1960s is poignantly evoked. Tommy’s nearly overwhelming excitement comes through clearly—in fact, some pages are almost explosively joyful and expressive. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-7894-2584-X
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: DK Publishing
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1999