Controversial Children's Book: 'The Night Dad Went to Jail'

| by Michael Allen

'The Night Dad Went to Jail: What to Expect When Someone You Love Goes to Jail' is a controversial children's book meant to explain a loved one's arrest and incarceration.

With one out of 107 adult Americans in jail or prison at the end of 2011, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the book seems timely and helpful.

The book shows a young rabbit, Sketch, whose father is arrested at their house and sentenced to six years in jail.

The book offers advice for dealing with a parent going to jail and the legal process on a level that kids can understand, reports the Daily Mail.

Sketch recalls: "We were at Dad's apartment the night the police came. Lights flashed. Neighbors stared. The officers put my dad in handcuffs."

A police rabbit tells Sketch: "Your dad may have broken a law. We need to ask him some questions at the police station."

The book follows Sketch [and his feelings] after his father is locked up for crimes unknown.

One footnote in the book says: "Laws are rules that tell people how they should behave. When people break a law, they may be put in jail or prison. They have to stay there for a period of time. How long depends upon what law they broke."

Sketch and his siblings visit their father in jail where he apologizes: "I hope you'll forgive me."

Sketch later says: "Dad's sentence is for six years. That's a long time to wait to go fishing again. I'm still a little angry. But I'm working on forgiving my dad because I love him."

The book adds: "When someone you love goes to jail, you might feel lost, scared, and even mad. What do you do? No matter who your loved one is, this story can help you through the tough times."

The book was published in August of 2011 and has received good reviews by readers on

Simplifying: Seen placed in handcuffs before his own children, this rabbit father is taken away leaving an officer later doing his best to explain to the children that their father potentially committed a crime
Guide: Providing yellow footnotes, the book mutually explains what is happening to the children's father in addition to giving similar children reading someone to relate to in the rabbit named Sketch

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