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The Night Dad Went to Jail: What to Expect When Someone You Love Goes to Jail
The Night Dad Went to Jail: What to Expect When Someone You Love Goes to Jail
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Reviewed Titles

The Night Dad Went to Jail: What to Expect When Someone You Love Goes to Jail

When someone you love goes to jail, you might feel lost, scared, and even mad. This colorfully illustrated book lets children know that they are not alone in this situation. It offers age appropriate explanations to help with difficult conversations. Told from the experience of a rabbit, this picture book is intended to make a parent's incarceration a little less frightening.

PublisherPicture Window Books
Age Level5-8 Years
Reading LevelGrades 2-3
Trim Size9 x 9
Page Count24
Paper Over Board

Additional Formats
Price: $8.99

Reviews - Stacie Bailey

"Footnotes throughout the book offer definitions of technical terms and further explain why a child might feel the way they do in reaction to their loved one going to jail. It provides relatable emotions to a new situation to help children understand that what they’re feeling is normal and that others may experience the same." -

December 8, 2012

Booklist - Daniel Kraus

"With its volumes on the expiration of a pet, the death of a relative, and divorce, it would be nice if the Life’s Challenges series wasn’t necessary. But where trauma exists, there will always be picture books up to the challenge of addressing them. This sober explainer tells the story of a little bunny (or possibly a dog) named Sketch, whose life is disrupted when his father is carted away from home one night by the police. Salient details are in place: the cop who gives Sketch a teddy bear, the social worker who answers questions, the children’s support group that Sketch joins a few weeks later. Dad’s crime goes unspecified, though the six-year sentence suggests something significant. Occasional boxes fill in important facts (what a law is, how it’s OK to feel awkward in a jail); and key images—such as speaking to Dad through a fiberglass wall—are not avoided. Higgins’ language is well pitched for adults to read to children, while Kirwan’s art hits a nice balance between softness and realism." - Booklist

October 1, 2011

School Library Journal - Grace Oliff, Ann blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ

"These titles walk youngsters through the various emotions they are likely to experience when confronted with a traumatic event. . . .caregivers and counselors will find these books useful when attempting to discuss these situations." - School Library Journal

January 1, 2012


Parent 24 - Scott Dunlop

"...covers a topic rarely addressed in children’s literature- in order to assist children whose parents have been arrested or imprisoned. . . .many childcare professionals and social workers have said that “The Night Dad Went to Jail” is proving a vital resource in helping the children of convicted criminals deal with complex emotions. . . .it helps children of felons to feel as if they are not alone, and that it should be available in every public library." - Parent 24

December 4, 2012

The Daily Mail, UK - Nina Golgowski

"'The Night Dad Went to Jail: What to Expect When Someone You Love Goes to Jail' follows a young rabbit as his father is arrested at their house in front of the neighbors and sentenced to six years in prison. It offers tips for dealing with the hardship of losing a parent for many years and an explanation of what to expect as a mother or father going through the legal process. . . .The book follows young Sketch as he experiences confusion and even anger at his father being hauled away to jail. It also provides comprehensive footnotes for children to better understand what their locked-up loved ones are going through." - The Daily Mail, UK

December 3, 2012

Melissa Higgins

Melissa Higgins

Melissa Higgins has written more than 100 fiction and nonfiction books for children, including titles for the Capstone imprints Pebble, Pebble Plus, Picture Window, Snap, and Stone Arch. Her books have received medals from the Independent Publisher Book Awards and the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. Before becoming a full-time writer, Melissa worked as a school counselor and had a private counseling practice. When not reading or writing, she enjoys hiking and taking photographs in the Arizona desert where she lives with her husband and two shy kitties. You can visit Melissa’s website ( to learn more about her books.

Go to the Author’s Page →