Dad Bakes by Katie Yamasaki (9781324015413)
Dad wakes up when it is still dark and walks to work. When he gets there, he works side-by-side with others to create dough that rises and becomes rolls and loaves. When the sun comes up, Dad walks back home, smelling like warm bread. While he sleeps, his daughter waits for him until it’s time to wake him up. Together, the two go to the kitchen and make their own smaller batch of bread. While it rises and rests, they spend a lot of time together. A bread surprise is created in the kitchen and the two spend the rest of the day together until night falls once more.
Told simply and in a straight-forward way, Yamasaki pays homage to single parents who work long hours, often night shifts to care for their children and provide a true home for them. In her author’s note, she mentions her work as a muralist in correctional facilities, adding another layer to the book. The program the father in the book is part of provides opportunities to those recently incarcerated. This book shows the strength and resilience it takes to return successfully from incarceration and parent a child with love, dedicating real time to being together.
The illustrations show the urban setting the family lives in, particularly when Dad walks to and from work. Their apartment is warm and cozy, full of bright colors that carry through their day spent together. The relationship between father and daughter really comes alive in the illustrations, showing the time they spend together and the joy they both take in it.
A look at parents who work the night shift that embraces those who were once incarcerated. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from e-galley provided by Norton Young Readers.