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Visiting Day

4.2  ·  Rating Details ·  327 Ratings  ·  105 Reviews
Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson has written a poignant picture book about a little girl who waits hopefully for her father's release from prison.

Only on visiting day is there chicken frying in the kitchen at 6 a.m. And Grandma in her Sunday dress, humming soft and low,... As the little girl and her grandmother get ready for visiting day, her fath
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by Scholastic Press (first published January 1st 2001)
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Jun 27, 2007 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is a realistic story about a part of many children's lives. Visiting a relative in prison is something that many children have to do and this story illustrates what a little girl and her grandmother do to prepare for that visit. It is a loving story that tells the reader this may not be your story but this is part of what makes America. Bravo Jacqueline Woodson and James Ransome for telling this story so beautufully, I have sat in that room while waiting entrance to do jail ministry and I s ...more
Sep 28, 2009 Valerie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: week9-21-09
A young African American girl reflects on her preparation for, visit with, and feelings following her monthly visit to see her incarcerated father. The anticipation of the visit, the smiling faces throughout it, and the hopefulness following the visit, depicted a strong family bond between mother-son-and (grand)daughter, demonstrating love and optimism.

A Thoughtful Review:
I was thoroughly surprised and touched by this text. The African American culture is brought to life through image
Oct 11, 2015 Hannah rated it it was amazing
This book was a very well-written and culturally rich story. It is about a girl who goes with her grandma every month to visit her dad in prison. It focuses more on the positives instead of the negatives, like how happy the little girl is when she visits her daddy or when she spends special moments with her grandma, "we can sit out back bundled up in blankets and make each other laugh as we make big plans for when Daddy comes home again." The illustrations are gorgeous and thoughtfully show emot ...more
May 27, 2014 Genee121 rated it it was amazing
Well done Jacqueline Woodson and James E. Ransome for a story that I'm certain many families can relate to including myself. I too can remember making the long drive with my two sisters and my mom to visit my dad who was incarcerated when I was just three years old. Of course, it was not until I was much older that I truly understood why we had to go visit daddy and why he never came home with us. Thank you to the both of you for being so bold to write and illustrate about a topic that can be so ...more
Lauren Mocny-Branum
Visiting Day (Skipping Stones Honor Award, 2003) can be described in two words for me: warm & real. Woodson’s descriptions of the surroundings create scenes in your head as you read them (“Only on Visiting Day is there chicken frying in the kitchen at 6am and grandma humming soft and low.”) This sensory filled writing combined with the illustrations are what make this a WOW book for me. The illustrations on each page only make this children’s book about a young girl with a father who is in j ...more
Feb 03, 2013 Jen rated it really liked it
I think that this book is very important for all children to read. In addition to being beautifully written and illustrated, this book tells about the reality of many children with a parent who is incarcerated. Reading this book with a child/children, one can begin a conversation about how a child might feel if their parent were absent and incarcerated for a significant period of time, how some whose loved ones are incarcerated cannot afford to visit them, and how the children of an incarcerated ...more
Paul  Hankins
With her grandmother's love and guidance, a young girl looks forward to visiting her father while he is "doing time" in prison. Woodson's writing here presents in a powerful way a reality for many children as Father's Day approaches.

The subject matter is not sugar-coated here. There is a neighbor across the hall who cannot afford to make the trip and instead passes her gifts to the grandmother who delivers them.

A uniformed officer stands in the background as the visit ends.

The crime is not de
Amy Baric
A girl is getting ready with excitement to see her father while he also is preparing for her visit. The girl’s father is “doing time” in a prison. The book does not go into depth about why her father is in prison, but it focuses on the relationship between a father and daughter.
At a camp where I worked, most of the children had one or both parent in prison. No matter what their parents did, they still felt loyalty and love toward that person. Children need to learn that it’s ok to love and mis
By far, this is one of the most well written stories about such a difficult and tabu subject that touches so many families. Woodson and Ransome (illustrator) tell this story through a vivid series of words and pictures that are so much deeper than this simple text first lets on. The reader is brought into a little girl's world as she prepares, with her grandma, to go visit her father in prison. As a reader, I felt invited into the community that is created by the families of these incarcerated m ...more
Erica Roberson
Mar 14, 2012 Erica Roberson rated it it was amazing
This book was a great breath of fresh air. I though it really captured the social issue of absent parents. The girl's father is in jail and the mother is absent; she lives with her grandmother. The created family ties are also shown when the neighbor brings presents for her son in jail and also when the grandmother and girl share their food with strangers on the bus. I have never read a book about jail and I think that this is important to have in the classroom because it shows a lot of issues t ...more
Mar 16, 2008 Vanessa rated it really liked it
Very sensitively portrayed story about a girl visiting her father in jail with her grandma. Focuses on the love in the family while showing the details of the jail. The point of view of the girl is so beautifully and realistically depicted.

Woodson's stories exude so much love for her characters. As I read these stories and how she writes them it feel like it's love -- our love for the people close to us, no matter what the context, that is what ultimately helps us rise through the ashes and flam
Ana Ramirez
Apr 20, 2016 Ana Ramirez rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Visiting day is about a little girl who is living with her grandmother and they are getting ready to visit her father in jail. I feel that there is a good connection living through something like this can connect to, but the book focuses only on the African- American community by being specific to one story. There are little girls who might be experiencing the same thing who are not African American and the book does not mention anything about other races or ethnicity. In this situation, the com ...more
Jason Brinley
Dec 01, 2015 Jason Brinley rated it really liked it
Jacqueline Woodson's Visiting Day is a children's fiction picture book that authentically tells of what it entails when making a family visit to a prison to see a loved one. In this book, Woodson presents the story through the eyes of a young African American girl, who tells the story in the first person about the preparations that she and her Grandma make to visit her father each month. Woodson, once again, takes a controversial topic, incarceration, and puts human faces into this work, which a ...more
Holly Hammock
Oct 18, 2015 Holly Hammock rated it really liked it
Shelves: text-set
This beautifully illustrated book is about a young African American girl who is going to visit her father who is in prison with her grandmother. I chose this book because a lot of children in foster care face this issue. The little girls mother is never spoke about in this book and the little girl somehow came to live with her grand mother. I think this book is very sweet and well done but it's almost too sweet, it starts off on a nice note, "Only on visiting day is there chicken frying in the k ...more
Micaela Ikner
Jun 26, 2016 Micaela Ikner rated it it was amazing
Visiting Day is an emotional story which I feel like not everyone can relate to but you can definitely look through a window with this story. The perspective of this story is from a young and anxious girl who tells the reader all about the preparation that occurs on Visiting Day. From the cooking of fried chicken to getting dressed and on the bus to go visit, she also tells what she thinks and imagines her father's preparation is like. Ultimately, she ends up visiting her father and it is an emo ...more
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Inspired by her own experiences visiting her Uncle, Woodson tells the story of a young girl who travels by bus, once a month, with her grandmother to visit her father in prison. The illustrations capture the anticipation and excitement of the visit and the lingering sadness that follows after the visit. This is both a positive and difficult experience for children and I am sure that many sure can relate to the mix of emotions that are felt on a visiting day.
Dec 26, 2008 HeavyReader rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: any kid whose dad is in prison
WOW! This is the story of a little girl who takes the bus with her grandmother to visit her daddy in prison. Reading it made me cry, thinking about all the kids who have loved ones in prison, many of them never getting to visit.

The illustrations are beautiful, all bold colors. The story is sad, but the ending is hopeful.

If I knew a kid whose dad was in prison, I would buy this book for her or him.
Tasha Gonzalez
Apr 25, 2016 Tasha Gonzalez rated it really liked it
This book is very important because there are so many children that deal with this situation but probably in more rougher, more serious circumstances. Although parents make mistakes, it is important that children are able to have a healthy relationship with their mom or dad even if they a are in jail (if the reasons for incarceration didn't include direct danger to the child). Woodson is able to paint a lively picture of a little girl and her grandmother getting ready to make the trip to see her ...more
Marina Minina
It is very hard to me to evaluate this book because I still have a cultural shock after reading it. To be honest, I didn't pay attention to the name of the book when I started reading. Later I figured out what was going on and got shocked. In my native country Russia we don't have such books for children. Russians usually hide the fact that their relatives are in prison from other people. Russian thinks it is not right to motivate people to consider that being prisoned is normal. Throughout the ...more
Aubrey Skeeter
Sep 19, 2016 Aubrey Skeeter rated it really liked it
Woodson's "Visiting Day" is about a young black girl, her grandmother, and her father and the family dynamic between the three of them. Her father is in prison, and the young girl lives with her grandmother. "Visiting Day" is a story of the motions that the daughter and grandmother go through once a month on visiting day. This story is one that is not often heard, and could potentially really grab onto children living in a similar situation. While this story really tugs at the audience's heartst ...more
Falan Miller
In this book "Visiting Day", I thought it was going to be about a little girl who visits her grandma. To my surprise it is about a little girl who visits her dad in jail. This book sort of hit home for me because in reality, a lot of kids go through things like this. It is very possible I will have students one day who have a parent in jail. This book just made me stop and think twice.

I really liked this book because it puts her dad being in jail as a positive experience for her. She has a good
Kandice Buck
Oct 04, 2015 Kandice Buck rated it really liked it
Shelves: life-lessons
This book is great book for children. This will either be a mirror book or a window book for them. Some children will be able to relate and the other children will be able to witness this life experience. This book is about a little girl who becomes very excited to see her father on visiting day at the prison he is at. The little girl and her grandma cook fried chicken and dress nice when they visit him. When it is time to leave they are very upset, however they are very hopeful for the future f ...more
I think the topic discussed in this book is one that we forget that some children have to deal with; their parent being in jail. We also have to remember the fact that some of them don't realize that they are in jail, just that they are not at home with them. In the book the Grandma says, "He's doing a little time." I can see where some children would be told this just so they didn't blurt out to people that their mom or dad is in jail. This book does a very good job depicting the visiting day a ...more
A young girl takes the long bus ride upstate with her grandmother to visit her father in prison. The day is both happy and sad for her. Happy that she gets to see her dad and sad that he can't come home with them.

Book would pair well with Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty.
Andrew Strang
Dec 09, 2014 Andrew Strang rated it it was amazing
Title: Visiting Day
Author/Illustrator: Jacqueline Woodson/James E. Ransome
ISBN: 9780590400053
Date of Publication: October 1, 2002
Review: This is a phenomenal book depicting a little girl and her grandmother going to visit her father where "daddy is doing 'a little time.'" It's impossible not to appreciate the illustrations in this book because they are vibrant, colorful, detailed, and they add as much to the story as the text itself. The text is short and sweet—just enough to tell a wonderful st
Jun 05, 2012 Joel rated it it was amazing
Very well written and illustrated picture book that highlights unique family situations particularly in minority populations. The "visiting day" is a special day set aside for a young girl to spend time with her dad. Early on, she and her grandma are seen preparing comfort foods and boarding a transit bus. Suddenly we notice that the destination in a local prison and that today is the said visiting day for family members and prisoners here. It is never implied why the girl's father is in prison, ...more
Taylor Moore
Visiting Day is a story about a girl who goes to visit her father in jail one day. It is an all day process involving waking up and cooking food for the train ride, riding the train, visiting, riding home, then writing letters to her dad. I think that it would be extremely controversial to teach a book such as Visiting Day in the classroom. On one hand it is great to teach children a lesson about diversity. Many children have a negative image of prisoners and believe that they are all bad people ...more
Mar 20, 2015 Jim rated it it was amazing
from the front cover i thought this book was about a grandma visiting her granddaughter in the hospital, from the back cover i thought it was about a daughter visiting her dad at boot camp.
the little girl and her grandmother are visiting father/son at prison on the monthly visiting day. heartbreaking, real book. the author and artist's notes add to the power of the story.
this should be in every school library, not to be checked out, but to be found by the children that NEED the story.
RLL52014Jamie Cotell
Visiting Day is a well written book about a young girl going to visit her father in jail. This is a book that presents an uncomfortable topic in a nonthreatening manner. This book can be used in the classroom if there are students in your classroom that may have a parent in jail so that they may not feel so alone. This book will help these students reflect on their own feelings. It is a book that is a mirror into their lives.
Traci Bold
Sep 14, 2016 Traci Bold rated it it was amazing
Author Jacqueline Woodson and illustrator James E. Ransome capture the love and hope between family members when one family member is away somewhere they don't want to be and circumstances are beyond their control.

The love between family is eminent in both story and illustration. This picture book is sweet, poignant and beautiful. A #mustread.

Published by Scholastic Press.

#PB #love #family
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I used to say I’d be a teacher or a lawyer or a hairdresser when I grew up but even as I said these things, I knew what made me happiest was writing.

I wrote on everything and everywhere. I remember my uncle catching me writing my name in graffiti on the side of a building. (It was not pretty for me when my mother found out.) I wrote on paper bags and my shoes and denim binders. I chalked stories a
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