Slog’s Dad by David Almond (illustrated by Dave McKean)
February 2011, Candlewick Press
Middle Grade fiction (graphic novel)
“Slogger, man,” I said. “Your dad’s dead.”
“I know that, Davie. But it’s him. He’s come back again, like he said he would.”
Do you believe in life after death? Slog does. He believes that the scruffy man on a bench outside the butcher shop is his dad, returned to visit him one last time. Slog’s friend Davie isn’t so sure. Can it be that some mysteries are never meant to be solved? And that belief, at times, is its own reward? The acclaimed creators of The Savage reunite for a feat of graphic storytelling that defies categorization. Eerie, poignant, and masterful, Slog’s Dad is a tale of astonishing power and complexity.
Who knew that a book so small in size could hold such a large story? Slog’s Dad is a rare and incredible book. Readers are instantly dropped into Slog and Davie’s world and will not be able to escape for long after the last page has turned. David Almond’s trademark of classifiable stories comes through, as do Dave McKean’s surreal pen-and-ink illustrations. Almond and McKean’s work go hand in hand to create a disturbingly beautiful little book.
While Slog’s Dad is a quick read–it took me 15 minutes at most–it is far from an easy one. I grieved for Slog’s dad as much as the boy in the book did. Readers are left to decide for themselves what they think really happened. I have gone through and examined McKean’s illustrations several times and am still finding clues and extra bits to the story in them. By the time I feel that I have read the story properly, it will have left as much of an imprint on me as the largest tome.
I highly recommend this book for all types of readers, of all ages and all genre preferences. Slog’s Dad is not to be missed.
Rating: 5 stars