Daddy Lost His Job (Life Lessons)

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9781438003481: Daddy Lost His Job (Life Lessons)

Barron's brand new Life Lessons series uses cheerful illustrations and down-to-earth language to tackle some of life’s more challenging issues from a kid’s perspective. Whether it’s learning the value of hard work, acknowledging that effort impacts educational success, or overcoming adversity, this series encourages and promotes a sense of individual responsibility, while inspiring hope in kids. Daddy Lost His Job teaches kids that overcoming hard times is easier as a family.

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Job loss is stressful for the adults in a family, but for the kids, it can be downright scary. Moore-Mallinos addresses this in a sober but encouraging look at the feelings associated with monetary troubles. An unnamed little girl talks about the day that Daddy got the bad phone call. For a while, it was fun having Dad around: “He was always waiting for us at the bus stop so that he could walk us home.” But Mazali’s fuzzy-edge cartoon illustrations are savvy in showing little faces peeking around corners while the parents fret—kids can tell things are bad, even if they’re not told. What happens next—and what Moore-Mallinos advocates in a two-page “Parents Guide” in the back matter—is the involvement of the children in the family’s planning. “Operation Save” includes making old toys look new, enjoying more homemade meals, and having picnics in the park. Says the girl, “It wasn’t so bad!” Though this ends on a happy note, that takes nothing away from the overall welcome, nonjudgmental tone. Grades 1-3. --Daniel Kraus

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