As an Army wife, the hardest thing I have to endure is watching my kids say goodbye to their dad for an entire year as he goes to Iraq for the second time. There will be nothing more important to them during this time than routine and ritual to keep Daddy close in their hearts. This book will be a great tool for helping them keep Daddy part of their nighttime routine. The story is about a father, a soldier, who is being sent to serve in a far off location (in what looks like Iraq but it's never specifically stated). The father proposes a special nightly game of catch with his son in which his son finds Polaris each night before climbing in bed. He instructs the boy to, "Breathe in deep, then blow out hard to send that North Star sailing far." Then Dad tells his son, "Then close your eyes and have sweet dreams of playing catch amid moonbeams. The star will travel all the night while you are sleeping, tucked in tight. I'll work while waiting patiently for that North Star to come to me. Then as you open up your eyes, I'll spot it in my darkening skies. I'll catch that star with a grand salute on my end of its nightly route." The lyrical story goes on to say how dad will send the star back and they will send it back and forth until the end of his time abroad. "Then when I'm finished working there, I'll blow a final puff of air. I'll board the plane and ask the crew to race that star right back to you."
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I can't say enough about the sweet but simple nature of the story or of the illustrations, which are magical and relaxing at the same time. As my family prepares for a year-long deployment, I'm stocking up on books. I'm glad to see that I have more of a selection than basic (non-military) separation books. Really, because of the unique nature of this experience, military kids really deserve to have a story that they can perfectly relate to. I also got "Daddy's in Iraq, but I Want him Back" and loved it. I have younger kids (preschoolers/toddler) so I want no mention of war and danger, only something they can relate to about Daddy having to be gone a long time in service of his country and to help people.
This book is absolutely one I would recommend to friends.