Thursday, October 7, 2021

WEEKEND DAD by Naseem Hrab & Frank Viva - a book about families where everyone doesn't live in the same place

This book fills an important gap by giving kids from families where parents are separated a place to see themselves or find connections. It's great the way this book explores different feelings and memories a child might feel when their parents first split up. A great addition to any collections of books about families or feelings. 

Summary from the publisher

A little boy spends the weekend at his dad’s new apartment in this picture book about how things change when parents separate — and the important things that stay the same.

“This home is home because my dad is here, and it’s nothing like home because my mom isn’t here,” thinks the boy in this story when he enters his dad’s new apartment for the first time. His dad moved out on Monday and now it’s Friday night, the start of his weekend with his dad.

The boy and his dad follow their normal weekend routine — they eat eggs for breakfast, play cards and spend time at the park. And then they do the same things on Sunday. It is hard to say goodbye at the end of the weekend, but Dad gives his son a letter to remind him that, even if they can’t always be together, the boy is loved.

Weekend Dad by Naseem Hrab and Frank Viva was published by Groundwood Books in 2020. 


My thoughts as a creator:

 Muted tones in the illustrations go well with this more serious story theme. The structure of this story is somewhat different and interesting, as the main character speaks to the reader, explaining his memories and feelings. It's a great book to study to learn about how to bring out the emotions in a story. 

My thoughts as an educator:

I haven't seen too many picture books about separating parents and I like the way this one is told through what the child notices and feels. This book could work as a class read aloud, but it might also be great to read one on one with a child who is going through change and difficult family situation. 


Grades: K – grade 2

Themes: family separation, life changes, feelings


Family connections:   Who lives with you? Draw a picture of the people in your family and the places where they live. 

Writing: Draw a picture of a time when you felt scared. 

Social-Emotional Learning: Think of something that scares you. What do you do  when you feel scared? Are there other things that might help you feel better?

Additional Resources: 

 This interview with Naseem Hrab gives some background information on her inspiration for writing this story. 


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