by Ross H. Mackenzie
Published by (date): High Pitched Hum Publishing (Oct 2008)
ISBN: 978-1-934666-34-0
Price: $12.95 retail; $9.95 at my website
Tags: Fiction Children Family/Spouse Poetry AllThingsMilitary

2010 Gold Medal for Children Under 12

Book of the Month, November 2009


My Sailor Dad is the first book in the Patriot Kids series. Patriot Kids recognizes the untold sacrifices of every member of America’s Armed Forces. Indeed, Ross H. Mackenzie carefully crafted each book to highlight those many sacrifices while also hoping to assist the thousands of families left at home while service members defend our nation overseas.

Our mission is that our books and products will bolster national pride in our service members, be an invaluable resource for service member families, and be engaging, educational books for military kids who are so proud of their parents and yearn to know more about their parent’s respective military profession.

My Sailor Dad accomplishes these goals. Told from a child’s perspective, the book addresses difficult questions that kids ask about deployment like, “Dad, whey you go away, is what you do important?”, “Dad, do you still love me when you’re gone?”, and finally, “Dad, will you ever come home?”. My Sailor Dad uses the awesome scale of the Navy to impress the child not only with the grandeur of the physical “things” in the Navy, but also to suggest the massive scale of the sacrifice on both the part of sailor and family. Out for over a year, My Sailor Dad has made a positive difference in the lives of many Navy families. It is on its way to becoming THE book sought out for deploying families.

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“My Sailor Dad” is an extraordinary children’s book. The story is both educational and encouraging, while the illustrations are astonishingly intricate and authentic.

Mackenzie presents an endearing story that explains not only the job that Daddy does while he is sailing the vast seas on a big Navy ship, but also explains why he does it. The author’s explanation of why takes advantage of an opportune time to instill patriotism and pride into the mind of the very young. The story concludes with the guarantee that no matter where in the world Daddy may be “Daddy still loves me”.

The prose is written in a slightly modified anapestic tetrameter, which is meticulously consistent throughout. The book has puzzles inside using Naval signal flags. The title page has “My Sailor Dad” spelled out in flags; and inside the back cover, “the end” is also spelled out in signal. One of the pages is outlined in flags which spells out “10 1776 the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs 09 2001” which represents the birthday of the Navy; the typical sentence that is used in the Navy which utilizes all 26 characters; and commemorates 9/11. Other pages are adorned with replicas of actual Navy-themed U.S. postage stamps, and properly sequenced ribbons. The colorful facsimiles are sure to have little fingers pointing in awe.

Not only will young minds be educated as to the many jobs aboard a Navy ship, they will be captivated by the lively and abundant artwork. The adult reader (even the most experienced Sailor) will be equally impressed with the authenticity of both the story and the illustrations.

This phenomenal children’s book delivers a delightful story of comfort and reassurance to the child of a Navy parent. It radiates with a bedtime message that is sure to induce sweet dreams.

Review by Claudia Pemberton, MWSA Reviewer (November 2009)

Other Reviews:

“My Sailor Dad has found the pulse of today’s Navy, today’s kids, and the challenges facing today’s Navy families. This book will help youngsters understand why the dedicated service of their parents on ships at sea is so important to our nation.”
Admiral Robert h. Natter, USN (Ret.) Former Commander U.S. Fleet Forces Command

“My sailor Dad is a wonderful way to illustrate to children the commitment to duty of our Navy veterans. This book is a treasure for Navy families.”
Rear Admiral LeRoy Collins Jr., USNR (Ret.) Executive Director, Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs

“This is a must read for children of deployed sailors! Ross Mackenzie strikes to the heart of Daddy’s service to our country, why he has to be away from home, and how special he really is. My Sailor Dad is a timeless resource for all of our Navy families!”
Rear Admiral Kevin F. Delaney, USN (Ret.) Former Commander Navy Region Southeast

“I have counseled thousands of sailors who would have benefited from My Sailor Dad. This little book is the perfect thing for Navy families who need help explaining to kids what when deployments happen, Dad still loves them and Dad will come home. My Sailor Dad should be issued in every sailors seabag!”
Master Chief Eliot Kohn, USN (Ret.) Former Command Master Chief Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Atlantic