#57 – Gary’s Gray World by Ryan J. Cunningham

5stars

Gary only wants one thing – his father’s attention, if for only today’s father-son baseball game.  Dad goes to work, promising to make up for missing the game.  Gary does not want a future promise; he wants his dad to be there as all the other kids’ dads will be.  Gary goes to the game with a friend and his dad.  When clouds burst open on the game, every father-son pair run to their cars and leave.  Gary is left alone in the dugout to weather the storm alone.

This is a 34-page picture book for boys, age four to seven, and their fathers.  Every boy has wanted dad to attend some event and experienced disappointment.  Many boys may wonder if dad has time for them anymore.  The illustrations depict Gary’s disappointment and pain, most readily seen in his eyes.  Chrissy Fanslau’s drawings help the story move in a way that even a small child, who cannot read, could follow along and understand  author Ryan J. Cunningham’s story of broken promises and redemption.  It is nice to see a book with dad as the important character.

Gary’s Gray World is the perfect choice for both fathers and sons.  Both will learn a little about the other’s expectations.  This brought back my own memories of parental disappointment.  If only I had a book like this to give him, maybe things might have changed.  When Gary shows his pain and joy, it is through the illustrations that say it best.  The writing is a home run.  The author understands little boys well, but then, he was one once.  Father’s Day is months away yet this is the perfect gift.  A wonderful story, timely and written well, with great illustrations, AND dad as the antagonist.  What more could you ask for?

Gary’s Gray World

Author:  Ryan J. Cunningham
Illustrator:  Chrissy Fanslau
Publisher:  Plain and Sinmple Books
Number of Pages:  34
ISBN:  978-1-4636-7016-0

 

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