Thursday, 20 September 2012

Every Friday by Dan Yaccarino

I wish Dan Yaccarino would write a book for every day of the week. I came across this title on our summer trip to the US and the 'Friday book' is still a nightly request on E's reading list.

This is a book about a Dad and his son and their weekly ritual of breakfast at the diner. The story is focused and the illustrations are fun, interesting and cool.  1960's design and characters meet minimalist line drawings and urban references. It works brilliantly in this context and manages to give the story an enviable vintage look and feel.

E and his Pop read this book a lot together. He points to the boy on the cover and says it's him.  We have yet to identify the Beatnik on page twenty but I'll come back you. 

A boy and his Dad take a walk from their apartment to the diner.  It's gloriously simple and also significant as their walk is the same every Friday.  They make their way past the shop keepers and street vendors as the city is waking up to the day. They both know where they're going and there's never a need for deviation.  Just a boy and his Dad and a little extra time together on a Friday morning. They make their way to the diner, order their usual from their favorite waitress and sit down to chat and chew until it's time for them to get on with their day.

Was this book written in the 1960's or the 21st century? Sometimes it's hard to tell ... and this is a good thing.  There's a telling contrast as the boy notices all the other people rushing while he and his Dad take their time. After all, it's Friday and this is their day together.

Yaccarino includes a lovely author's note about his own diner breakfast tradition with his son. The sincerity of his experience rings true in this loving little story.

Every Friday is a 2007 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year and a 2008 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year. You can learn lots more from the publisher's website:  Macmillan (US). Dan Yaccarino has a great website as well where you can learn about his other books, characters and countless creative projects:Yaccarino Studio.

1 comment:

  1. Hey you've been holding out on me! I love vintage looking books and I love the idea of having a special ritual with your children. I'm looking forward to reading this one.