When a young girl’s father is too sad to get out of bed, she paints him a picture and the two go on an imaginary adventure together.
It’s Saturday morning, and Paula is waiting for her father to make hot chocolate and coffee, but she doesn’t hear him moving around the house. When she discovers he’s still in bed, she asks if he’s still sad about Mommy and then says, “I miss her too.” Paula decides that, to get cheered up, her father needs to go sailing, and so she paints a picture of a sailboat and coaxes him into an imaginary adventure. Author/illustrator Dufft’s watercolor illustrations skillfully combine an assured, realistic watercolor style to portray Paula and her father, with a rudimentary childlike stroke to visually highlight the imaginative adventure. Light and shadow are used to great effect to convey mood—the father’s bedroom is portrayed as a dim room of grayed color that brightens by story’s end. While the final page turn is just so-so (Paula’s self-confidence has been well-established throughout, so its resurrection comes as no surprise), ending on an uplifted note both visually and textually reassures readers that both Paula and her father will come through this trying time just fine. Both Paula and her father present white.
A gentle, touching story of loss and resilience and of the beneficial role imagination plays, with visually intelligent and well-executed illustrations. (Picture book. 3-7)