Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me
Illustrated by Bryan Collier, Written by Daniel Beaty
Every morning, I play a game with my father.
He goes knock knock on my door
and I pretend to be asleep
till he gets right next to the bed.
And my papa, he tells me, “I love you.”
But what happens when, one day, that “knock knock” doesn’t come? This powerful and inspiring book shows the love that an absent parent can leave behind, and the strength that children find in themselves as they grow up and follow their dreams.
Primary Source Pairing:
Author Daniel Beaty writes of his experiences of his childhood with a father who was incarcerated. The text of the book and the Author’s Note speak to his sadness and longing for his father to be present in his life. For this primary source pairing, after students have read the book, listen to Daniel Beaty at a slam poetry performance titled “Knock Knock.” Let these experiences of reading, listening, and watching begin a discussion on the similarities and the differences between the book and the poetry performance. As time and space allow, encourage students to make connections between the text, poetry, and their lives.
Questions for Discussion:
- Describe what you hear.
- What do you notice first?
- What do you see?
- Who is speaking?
- Who is in the audience?
- How is the person speaking?
- How does the audience react?
- How does the spoken word connect to the book?
- What is the same? What is different?
- Does the spoken word enhance the experience of reading the book? How?
- What emotions did you have reading the book?
- What emotions did you have listening to the spoken word?
Book Cover and Summary: Follett
Daniel Beaty on Def Poetry: YouTube