Slog's Dad Book Pdf ePub

Slog's Dad

3.60370 votes • 99 reviews
Published 01 Sep 2010
Slog's Dad.pdf
Format Hardcover
Publisher Walker & Company
ISBN 1406322903

Part story, part graphic novel - a tender slice of life and death from the creators of "The Savage". Do you believe there's life after death? Slog does. He reckons that the scruffy bloke sitting outside the pork shop is his dad come back to visit him for one last time - just like he'd said he would, just before he died. Slog's mate Davie isn't convinced. But how does this man know everything Slog's dad would know? Because Slog says it really is his dad, that's how.

"Slog's Dad" Reviews

- Shiraz, Iran
Sat, 28 Jan 2017

کتاب‌های تصویری جالبن اینم دوست داشتم ولی فکر می‌کردم بیشتر ارتباط برقرار کنم باهاش. مخصوصا با تصویراش. در کل خوب بود، یا شاید متوسط بالا.

- The United Kingdom
Sat, 08 Sep 2012

I came across Slog’s Dad on the recommendation of a 6 year old girl, and must confess now that without her, I never would have picked this book up off the shelf. An interesting hybrid of a graphic novel and a short story, Slog’s Dad shines as it demonstrates just how powerful illustration can be, as the punch delivered by Slog’s Dad is not only through David Almond’s words, but also the double page spread created by Dave McKean. Not wanting to give away too much about the plot in this review, I have to say that I can fully understand why this has become a favourite of the young child who advocated it to me, and I urge you to read the book and then decide what message you think is being conveyed.
Only 55 or so pages long, Slog’s Dad is an incredibly powerful short story where the narrative is interspersed with pictures that in some places relate emotions that Davie, our narrator simply cannot put into words. For such a short story, Almond and McKean pack a lot into this hybrid novel as complicated issues of loss, hope and the spirituality are approached by the two young boys. The book is aimed at children 8 and above and I think could be used in a variety of ways within the classroom, from literacy where the idea of different dialects could be approached, to understanding the beliefs of different religions or as a way of approaching the idea of loss the emotions linked to this in PSHE.

Mon, 22 Jul 2013

You know, sometimes, how a book catches you? How it sits there very quietly until you notice it and then, just, holds you to it? This is one of those books.
I've talked about the wonder of David Almond before, and about his skill in capturing the quiet, and yet somehow immense, magic of the everyday. He makes me rampantly, vividly, awfully,  jealous of his skill. If you look back at his books that I've reviewed (The Savage, My Name Is Mina, Mouse Bird Snake Wolf), they're all five stars. All of them. Joyously, incredibly so. And I love his work with Dave McKean. I love it with a passion that startles me. I love  the bravery of it, the wild darkness, the just-that-little-bit-on-edge feel of a McKean line. I love that they are producing such intensely superb, challenging, heart-breaking, lovely books.
I am hugely indebted to Walker Books for giving me permission to use the following images which truly do justice to this book.
Fig 1: Front Cover.
Illustrations © 2010 Dave McKean
From SLOG’S DAD by David Almond & illustrated by Dave McKean
Reproduced by permission of Walker Books Ltd, London SE11 5HJ
"Counterpoint : The melody added as accompaniment to a given melody or 'plain-song'" 
That's how the OED defines counterpoint, and it's a framework I want to use to discuss Slog's Dad. It's a small book, of 64 pages, and it's one constructed with a lot of musicality.  I know that's an odd term to apply to a book, but it's one that I feel is apt. Throughout Slog's Dad we see the left hand and the right hand working together, the text and the image, the bass and the treble, the shadow and the light. It's a book where we go forward through image and back through text and every now and then one of them soars and tells us everything whilst the other fades into content stillness. That's what I mean about musicality. It's in the way this book sings. It's singing even on the front cover (fig 1.). "I shall lift up mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help". The child is exultant, holding his breath and he's looking up and he's caught in such, utter, hope and awe that it is breath-taking.
This book is about grief. Slog's dad is dead but he comes back. Or does he? In a way it's never really resolved, it's left up to the reader to decide, but what is clear in this book is that we're always looking. Always. It's a book about sight, about looking, about hoping that they'll be there on the street corner as we drive by. It's a book about memory. About reaching out and just trying to touch, but never getting far enough.
And it's a book about being earth-bound, about the fact that maybe death isn't this finite thing, about how it could be this great, fluid thing that we fly up to and come back from and if we hold our breath and count to ten, the person we love will come back to us and we'll be there, right there, ready to catch them.
Perhaps nowhere is this more clearly illustrated in the silent pages at the heart of this book (fig 2/3). At this point we've become accustomed to the structure of Slog's Dad. We have the tiniest,most crystalline of chapters book-ended by images which frame, compliment and contradict each chunk of text, and now we receive something a little different. 
Fig 2: Interior Spread
Illustrations © 2010 Dave McKean
From SLOG’S DAD by David Almond & illustrated by Dave McKean
Reproduced by permission of Walker Books Ltd, London SE11 5HJ
The black and white image of fig.2 gives us the still, oppressive gloom of darkness. Sadness is always worse when it's dark. Always. Because there's nothing there to distract you, nobody there to talk to you, nothing happening to pull you away from your thoughts. And your thoughts can be the most terrifying place in the world. McKean is quite spectacular. Throughout the entire book he's maintained an aerial view. That is, to say, we've spent a vast amount of the images looking down on the events. We spend the opening pages of the book zooming in in a breathless series that bring us from some point far away, out of this world, all the way down to a man, sat on a bench, wrapped in whiteness.
In this spread, McKean engages that dramatic technique of dominance, of power, and he uses it to pull us in to what matters. The frame on the left - Slog's lost in it. There is the empty chair, the foetal curve of the boy in the bed and shadows. Losts and lots of shadows, and they're pulling at Slog, trying to keep him in the darkness. Everything is too big and yet, too empty all at once.
The top right frame starts to pull us in. It's started to focus. And it's not yet stopped because this frame, important as it is, isn't what it is all about. Not right now. And here's where this all gets even more interesting.
What is important is this tear. And it's been there all along. It was there only if we knew where to look for it. And suddenly the image on the left takes on a whole more tragic overtone; the boy crying silently in the dark that nobody notices. Not even us until we're led to it.
And have a think about the use of light in this spread too, the way the chair's illuminated and how, just out of frame, the lights in the house are clearly still on. Think about what that suggests about what's going on out of frame. Think about how that suggests that there's somebody still awake in the house, probably his mother, trying to come to terms with what's happened. Think about how that is broadening this story, making it spill out of the pages and out of the 'book' confines.
Fig 3: Interior Spread (immediately after fig.2)
Illustrations © 2010 Dave McKean
From SLOG’S DAD by David Almond & illustrated by Dave McKean
Reproduced by permission of Walker Books Ltd, London SE11 5HJ
Fig 2. is immediately followed by Fig 3. Here the aerial, downward perspective changes. We are quite literally 'on Slog's level' and as such experience an immediate kinship with him. We are seeing his dream. Or his hope? His desire, maybe. Whatever it is, he's still rooted in his lonely sleep and the events are occuring inside his mind.
And oh, can I tell you how much I gasped at this the first time I read it? Because this is full of so very much.
Firstly, the colours. The charcoal greys and blacks that link this scene with the previous, to give us continuity and contrast to the magic occurring just up above. The strange, watery colours of the wings that are reminiscent of the Northern Lights, or of water caught in sunshine, or of a rainbow just after the heaviest of rains. His wings are full of this weirdly magical light; a light we first saw on the front cover. It's the strangest and best of things. The sky is caught in Slog's dads' wings.
Secondly, the boys. Davie is with Slog. And it's Davie that catches me here because we are him. We're watching what's happening, turning politely away when Slog embraces his dad, placing our hands on our hips and trying to figure out what's gone on. But in a way, whilst we are him, we're not him at the same time. Remember when I mentioned about the aerial perspective we've had a lot in this book? Consider the implications of shifting straight from that into this - we were looking from Slog's dads' perspective and now we're not. But consider the implications of that perspective. Slog's Dad saw what we saw and now he's making it all better. He has come to his boy. Whether that's wish-fulfilment or not, is open to say, but what it is is moving. Moving and intensely emotional stuff. Where Slog is right now? We've all been there. All of us.
There's such a rich, nonjudgmental joy about this book that I could go on for days. So to sum, I will say this:
Slog's Dad is a dark, challenging book. But the joy is in the non-confrontational nature of that challenge, the way that it's only there if you want to be challenged, and that that challenge does not come with already given answers.
Death is a darkness. But books like this help us to see the light.

- Oxford, The United Kingdom
Mon, 26 Mar 2018

A story about a child called Slog, who is convinced that a man on the street is his father, who the reader finds out tragically died months prior. Whilst Slog's friend tries to be the voice of reason, contesting that Slog's father cannot have come back to visit his son, the reader is left questioning who the man really is and the true nature of death.
Though I did not realise that this story would be more suited to secondary school children, I am still glad that I picked it up. McKean and Almond make a masterful yet almost disturbing partnership- and it is the way that the two work together that helps to tell such a troubling story. McKean fuses a multitude of types of media, meaning that the reader has to regularly flip between different narratives, piecing together the ideas to build their own interpretation of the story. Some of McKean's images did not always make sense to me, but I gained a sense of Slog trying to recreate his father, instilling the overall sense of trying to hold onto memories. The abstract nature of McKean's element of the story is perhaps purposeful, it is meant to leave the reader uncertain and at a level of unease- just as the characters feel.
Whilst I question whether I would be able to use this book in primary school, I still think that it is an interesting example of how different forms of narrative can be used to build a story and twist interpretations.

- Buenos Aires, 07, Argentina
Sat, 02 Dec 2017

El señor Almond tiene una capacidad para presentar lo extraño, para jugar con lo ominoso, que me está empezando a sorprender.

- Menasha, WI
Tue, 14 Jun 2011

Originally a short story, this small book is eerie, haunting and achingly sad. Slog’s father is dead and he knows it. But when he sees the scruffy man outside the butcher shop, he knows that it is his father who has returned to see him. But Davie, his best friend, is just as convinced that this man is a fake. The story explores the way that Slog’s father died, slowly and by tangible steps. It is a story of grief but also one of hope that asks unanswerable questions and allows readers to stay in the in-between world where hope thrives but so does doubt.
Almond and McKean paired up for The Savage, an amazing work of fiction. This story is gentler and hopeful. It quietly explores grief, allowing the poignant moments to live, hover and hope. It is a story of dreams and beauty, of the unexpected and the amazing. Almond’s writing is at times so blunt that it is traumatic and unblinking. At other times, it is eerie and bizarre. And at still others it is haunting, hopeful and trembling.
McKean’s illustrations help bring the story to a new level. From the almost photographic detail of some of them, where the warped faces are the only clue that you are not looking at a photograph to the line drawings that soar with greens and blues hovering above heads. These are illustrations that explore the emotions of the book. They are not concerned with a unified look and feel, but with the look and feel that is right for that moment in the story.
A gorgeous work of writing and art, this book is a testament to grief, hope and wonder. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

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