A binman, Slog’s dad is, and a jolly one, always singing as he swings off the back of the garbage truck to grab the trashcans and dump them in. Davie and Slog can hear his joyful hymns as he makes the rounds of their British small town.
One day, he stays home from work, and Slog tells his pal that the doctor says something’s wrong with that black spot on Da's foot. Surgery after surgery, trying to take away all the wrong, leaves Slog’s dad sitting on the front porch, singing his hymns and talking about how his legs will be waiting for him in heaven, telling his son that they’ll meet again on earth, once more … and to watch for him in the springtime.
Winter finally over, Davie and Slog are walking to the butcher’s shop when they spot him – that bloke over on the park bench! Could it really be…Slog’s dad?
David Almond’s award-winning short story gains new depth through McKean’s varied art styles in this picture book for older readers, as mourning, longing, and hope bring us down to earth and back up to heaven.
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA