Of all the children’s books I’ve purchased, this was one of the few that made me pause, smile and then reminisce even before I read the contents of Run, Dad, Run!. One glimpse and I was instantly transported back to a time when running was one of my sports of choice in spite of its challenges.
I remember waking up much, much earlier than I was used to and then commuting to pre-assigned meet up places from which my friends and I would walk to the starting line. I remember the slight chills the mornings brought, muscles stretched into wakefulness and the excitement that brimmed within the participants. Naturally, there was no doubt that I was going to bring this book home.
And of course, because Fathers’ Day is coming up, this is the story I’m choosing to share with you today.
Run, Dad, Run! is the story of a runner and his supportive family. Dawn has barely broken, and yet the whole family is already awake. The big day has arrived: Dad is running the marathon!
The whole family is wearing sweaters except for Dad. The son, also the narrator, asks his father if he feels scared. “Not scared but nervous, son,” he answers. To cheer him up, the narrator’s sister gives Dad his cellphone with all his favorite songs to keep him going.
We are introduced to the other participants as they all head towards the starting line. An announcer on the microphone starts counting down, and soon enough, they’re all off!
The family goes ahead, waiting for Dad at every turn and cheering out loud whenever they see him. They go ahead to the finish line, where they wait for Dad. Nervousness kicks in as the participants start trickling in one by one, all but Dad. Did something happen? Did he quit? Did he get hurt? Oh no! wonders his son.
Their faces light up when Dad is finally in sight. The whole family cheers and gives him a giant family bearhug as soon as he crosses the line. Dad embraces back, the whole family basking in pride.
If its not obvious from the wear and tear you see on my photos of the pages, my children and I love this story and read it quite often. I love how the family came together to support Dad with his passion, and how Dad intentionally brought his family along with him to see him run. I also loved how this “race” was not just for those who could walk well, but for those “walking” with wheels!
It’s also my first time to see someone bring a pet to a marathon (is it actually allowed? I’m not quite sure!). One of the things I love about marathons is that it is a sport that transcends racial and economic barriers. Race and background don’t matter here; what does matter is whether or not you have the endurance to reach the finish line. And that requires serious training!
Running in a marathon can be quite lonely. Though the runner is running alongside other human beings, the participants don’t actually communicate because that tends to slow one down. And so for someone running by himself, there’s a kind of excitement and satisfaction that comes with seeing a loved one (or loved ones) waiting at the end of the race.
Run, Dad, Run! was written by Minnie Francisco-Francia and was illustrated by Leo Kempis-Ang. I bought this book at National Bookstore awhile back.
If you liked this story, then maybe you’ll also like Minnie Francisco-Francia’s other story entitled Maria’s Colorful Banca. Maria’s Colorful Banca is the story of a young girl whose family was affected by a horrible typhoon that destroyed their town’s homes and livelihood. But thanks to the compassion of other children (yes, children!), she and her family were able to slowly get back on their feet. The post also includes an activity at the end parents or teachers can do with their kids.
Have Pinterest? Here’s a pin to easily find this page again!