Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me

Knock Knock by Daniel Beaty and illustrated by Bryan Collier is both beautiful and sad. A young boy plays a daily game of Knock Knock, Who’s There? with his father until the day 9780316209175his father is gone. The rest of the book is filled with ways the boy misses his father and how he can fill that void. A letter from his father shows the boy ways he can live a beautiful life into adulthood.

The story is a cathartic poem by Daniel Beaty whose father was incarcerated while he was young. Part of his story is in the author’s note. The book “offer[s] hope that every fatherless child can still create the most beautiful life possible.” Bryan Collier’s watercolour and collage illustrations underscore the text and also give it new meaning, showing the boy growing up and fulfilling his father’s words to “Knock Knock to open new doors.”

Bryan Collier won the 2014 Coretta Scott King Book Award for Knock Knock.


About AnEducationInBooks

Wendy BooydeGraaff is the author of Salad Pie, a children's picture book published by Ripple Grove Press. Her work has been published in Emrys Journal Online, The Emerson Review, Jellyfish Review, Bending Genres, SmokeLong Quarterly and Leopardskin & Limes, and is forthcoming in NOON. Read more work at or find her on Twitter @BooyTweets.
This entry was posted in Books with social studies links, Love that art, Love that prose, Picture books, Poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me

  1. Sam Juliano says:

    Yes this is a deeply moving and beautifully illustrated book and you have provided a marvelous capsule review here!

    I’ll be thrilled to add your site to my blogroll.

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