DADDY SPEAKS LOVE BY LEAH HENDERSON
Many educators (including myself) will advocate that no students are too old for picture books. Picture books, as shared by Jill Davidson in an earlier Margin Notes post, Picture Books in Grades 6-12,
“…make excellent mentor texts to use in mini-lessons or to demonstrate writing techniques since you can read them more than once in a short amount of time. They can be used to develop background knowledge about a concept or topic or for quick writes and writer’s notebook responses. Picture books can invite dialogue about tough topics and complex ideas. Most importantly, though, they bring students together into a shared experience that invites everyone in the reading community to celebrate beautiful words and images.”
Daddy Speaks Love by Leah Henderson is just one of these books that will provide teachers a segue to discussing difficult topics, the sharing of ideas and opportunities for critical thinking. Motivated by the death of George Floyd during the summer of 2020 and the statement by his then six-year-old daughter that, “Daddy changed the world”, Henderson explores the relationship that fathers or father figures play in the lives of their children. Love, support, and guidance are all explored in the text, as is unfairness and injustice. The illustrations by E. B. Lewis will also provide teachers with opportunities to explore critical thinking activities, such as, “What does this picture say? What does it not say.”
Henderson’s words and Lewis’ illustrations provide a powerful and timely reflection on the state of social justice issues facing much of the world in 2022. To learn more about this book and other powerful picture books check out our K-12 Virtual Books shelves on our ASD-W Margin Notes K-12 Literacy sharepoint.