How would you feel if your dad were a clown?
The boy in this story never wants to go to his friends’ birthday parties, because Happy the Clown is always there. And Happy is … his dad.
He wishes his dad had a regular job, like all the other kids’ parents. He didn’t mind his dad being a clown when he was a little kid, but now it’s just embarrassing. And even worse, since business is slow, his dad is putting a sign on the front lawn advertising his clown services!
But one night at dinner Dad announces that he’s going back to his old job of being a lawyer. “You were a lawyer?” the boy asks, incredulous.
Now his dad wears a suit and tie to work, the family can buy a new car, his mom can take piano lessons, and he can have a skateboard and cellphone. But something feels different. The boy wonders if his dad misses being a clown. Or is he the one who misses Happy?
With bittersweet humor, Cary Fagan brings us a story about a boy’s growing consciousness and a father’s realization that he can be himself.
Key Text Features
Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:
Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.
Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)
Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.
Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.