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Visiting Day

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  235 ratings  ·  79 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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Table 21 by T. Rafael CiminoWhite Oleander by Janet FitchHarry Sue by Sue StauffacherDiary of a Freedom Writer by Darrius GarrettVisiting Day by Jacqueline Woodson
Incarcerated Parents
5th out of 52 books — 17 voters
Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. MilneThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Golden Compass by Philip PullmanThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Children's books I wish I read as a kid
239th out of 322 books — 167 voters

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Community Reviews

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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
Jun 27, 2007 Nancy rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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
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 4 of 5 stars
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.
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
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
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
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.
The text is lovely, the illustrations are striking, and the topic itself is one I'm glad to see addressed in a children's book. Reading isn't just for entertainment, it's for support and learning and dealing with life—and adults aren't the only ones with life to deal with. The personal notes at the end, from the author and the illustrator, make the book more meaningful for anyone who doesn't have their own personal story to connect with.
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.
This was based on the author's life but in her life it referred to her uncle rather than the girl's dad in this book. The young girl lives with her grandma and gets so excited once a month when she gets to visit her dad who is unfortunately in jail. Though the book does not say exactly why the dad is in jail, he does say he wishes he was out with his little girl. She misses him a whole lot and can look past whatever he did. I get the impression that whatever he was in jail for was not a legitima ...more
I loved this book for the fact that it addresses a serious issue in a mature fashion. I enjoy how it is told from a child's perspective as well. This book is a wonderful book for children with similar problems to connect to. I would use it for that purpose in my class to help those with similar problems be able to connect to another's life.
Visiting Day is about the one day a month when a little girl and her grandmother go to see her father in jail. It leads nicely up to the day of the visit, full of excitement and anticipation and follows the visit with sadness and comforting thoughts and plans for the future. The illustrations are beautiful, bright oils.
It doesn't serve to educate the reader but might comfort readers who are in similar situations.
The sweet words of Jacqueline Woodson and paintings of James Ransome work together very nicely to tell a good story in "Visiting Day".
The book is about a young girl and her grandmother as they get up early one morning to go on a long bus ride to visit the girl's father in prison. The words "prison", "jail" and any others of that nature are never actually used, which softens the impact of the sad situation for the youngest readers, but anyone capable of interpreting the action based on the pic
Having this book read to me helped to see the perspective of a young girl whose father is in prison. It is great to see this story through the eyes of someone whose story isn't usually told.

Despite what some may think, the story conveys a positive family structure. At home with grandma, the young girl writes her dad cards while he is away. When she visits, she sits on his lap and tells him everything that's happened in the past month. The dad seems so excited to see her. My heart just aches for
Chris Maynard

Purpose: Picture Book (Wide Reading Project)

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Format: Picture Book

Grades: Primary - Intermediate

Subjects/Themes: See the bookshelves above.

Classroom Use: Great potential as a read aloud in primary class on a topic (a parent who is incarcerated) that could have great relevance to specific students in urban settings. A must in a primary classroom library.

Review: Woodson at her finest yet again. A very authentic, natural and honest portrait of a difficult situation that som
Sherry Thornberry
This book has amazing illustrations. They are so good at helping us understand the feel and the emotion involved in this book. I loved the way the artist captures the concentration on the grandmothers face as she was trying to braid her grand daughters hair.
Lauren Colton
This text was difficult for me. I struggle with if this should be shared with young students, although that is the audience it is intended for. Tackles the deep issue of family members in jail. Could be a text to connect well to students however if that is a common theme in our classroom community.
April Smith
This is a good book for children who have this as a reality. Some children have mom or dad or both in this situation and this story can help them understand how other children feel and to know that other people are going through the same thing.
Kelly Tessitore
I thought Visiting Day was a great book and would be an effective and subtle way to introduce the idea of jail into the minds of young children. Woodson shows how Maya and her grandmother make visiting her father in jail a celebratory special day where food and gifts are made and wrapped. Making such a serious situation more light-hearted makes this story child friendly and I am sure causes less controversy among parents. I also think that the grandmother of the story sets an amazing example for ...more
Leta Huffman
The topic of this book is serious and relatable to many students today(Especially in the Marion Community Schools). I like that the author and illustrator both had experiences visiting family members in jail because they gave an accurate depiction. I liked that this book does not discriminate against the felon, but instead opens doors to talk to children about the love they have for their family member who is in jail. This story is also easy for students to relate to because it is told through h ...more
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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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