Where is Daddy?

where is daddy cover

Where is Daddy?
The Story of a Divorce
Goff
1969

I will be honest in saying that these types of books (I will call them “fix your problems with a story”) are a bit problematic for me. Yes, I understand that many of these books have therapeutic value. However, they need to be updated and revised to reflect the changes in society. I also want these books to stand on their own as good stories, not just a vehicle to send a message.

These older books on divorce often paint Daddy as the “bad” parent. This is also true for other life disruption books such as a parent’s depression, step-families, a working mother, etc. Again, even if they have value in a clinical setting, I still think that these books need to be evaluated and selected for their appropriateness for today’s children.

Also, Janeydear is a ridiculous nickname.

Mary

janeydear lives with daddy and mommy Mommy and Daddy had headaches getting a divorce daddy won't live at home

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15 comments

  1. I hate this so much, and it’s all because of the horrifying illustrations. It’s hard to believe they ever would have been considered appealing. The pictures of angry Janey and crying Janey. . . .shudder. They will visit me again in my nightmares.

    Also, how old is stupid ugly Janey even supposed to be? The drawings make her look like she’s about 2 years old, which I can’t imagine would be the target audience for this book. I have to assume from these illustrations that Janeydear’s daddy left because she is an ugly little hobgoblin.

    +7
  2. I had a jokebook illustrated by Susan Perl when I was a child. I loved it, but I remember being both enthralled and unnerved by the creepy illustrations. The children always looked like strung out zombies.
    We just did a complete overhaul of our bibliotherapy books. We got rid of the majority of them. Unfortunately most of them are just awful. There are some good ones out there, you just have to really dig to find them!

    +3
  3. I’m sorry things didn’t work out for Mommy and Daddy, but I think Janey and Mommy also need a divorce from Grandma.

    +9
    1. Grandma sounds like an abusive harpy. Maybe Daddy divorced because he was sick of her.

      +3
    2. Ordinarily, I would agree, but have you seen Janey? She is clearly the bad seed. Grandma wants Mommy to stay away for her own safety.

      +2
  4. 1969!?? I would put money of some amount on psychological understanding of children being much refined in 50+ years, and a smaller amount on the approaches of that time having been found misguided / harmful.

    +2
  5. Janeydear looks like a cross between Chucky and a Cabbage Patch Kid. But the grandmother who says her mom won’t come back unless she stops being bad ie crying sounds even more evil. I wonder what happened to Funny? Maybe Grandma got rid of him because Janey was “bad”.

    +4
  6. I’m amazed that Janey has any reactions at all, seeing as she appears to be a Cabbage Patch Kid instead of a human.

    Which is also quite a trick for 1969.

    Maybe some of her trauma is due to the fact that all her clothing is shapeless tunics.

    With that weird kid and the bitchy mother-in-law, I kinda see why Daddy left.

    +3
  7. I actually like the illustration style–it reminds me of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

    So it’s probably not appropriate for this kind of story. Haha.

    +7
      1. Yes, they had the decency to keep this homunculus in black and white.

        Maybe someday creepy little Janey will murder Grandma and be sent to an institution and the world will be better off.

        +3
  8. Is that drawing of a house supposed to be by Janey? Because it looks like a child drew it.

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