KidsOutAndAbout Reviews Saturday is Dadurday, by Robin Pulver
I am Dad.
Well, not really. I am Mom.
But just like Mimi's father in Robin Pulver's new picture book Saturday is Dadurday (Walker Books for Young Readers, May 2013), I sometimes often usually find myself pulled by work obligations away from time I'd intended to spend with a daughter. What happens usually is an exercise in guilt for the parent and disappointment for the child.
But a lovely development in Pulver's book puts our young protagonist squarely in the driver's seat, and makes it beautifully satisfying read for child and parent alike.
For Mimi, a preschooler with a new twin siblings, Saturday, the day that Dad devotes exclusively to fun with Mimi, is the best day of the week. She calls it Dadurday. Dadurday looks awesome: In fact I want a Dadurday. Mimi and her dad make lists of great things to do together, like reading the comics, riding bikes to the library, and making silly-shaped pancakes for breakfast.
But suddenly, Dad announces that Saturdays need to change: His schedule has shifted, and he needs to go in to work.
No Dadurday! Mimi is heartbroken. And, frankly, so am I. It becomes Badurday. Dad sadly shuffles off to the office and Mimi sulks around the house. We readers feel her pain. It's Madurday. It's Sadurday.
Of course, I should have seen it coming. In the world of children's books, it never works unless the child is the hero. But, even seasoned reviewer that I am, I was so enveloped in my own feelings of guilt for doing the exact same thing to my own little Mimi that the solution took me by surprise the first time I read it.
Mimi thinks, and thinks, and then, of course, she saves the day. She creates Dadurday anyway, by making a lovely surprise party, all by herself, for when her father arrives home after work.
What I love about this book is not only that Mimi saves the day, but that she does it in a way that all children can take to heart. Any child can make a party, any time, by making the ordinary special... the way Mimi does on Dadurday. Pulver paints a beautiful picture that shows (rather than preaches to) kids how their own happiness really is in their own power. I think parents (particularly dads) who read this book with their kids will be delightfully surprised by how creative their kids can become. They may even find themselves celebrated, far beyond Father's Day.
I see many Dadurdays in my readers' future.
Debra Ross is publisher of KidsOutAndAbout.com.