Dad says because of the army he stood shoulder to shoulder with polar bears and watched the sun rise over the frozen fields of Alaska, which sounds really exciting. And because of the Army he slept in sludge, shoulder to shoulder with snakes and watched the sun set over the swamps of Alabama — which does not. In a timely, but not politically charged way, author Alan Madison looks at the way a family copes with having a parent away on a 100 day, 99 night military tour of duty through the eyes of the very loveable Esmerelda (Esme) Swishback McCarthur. Esme wants to be good while her dad is away. In fact, she feels like it's her duty to be good. But being good can be hard, especially if you have a little brother like Ike. By following Esme's story, as she awaits her father's return, readers will see how heroism can translate to every member of a family. As Esme introduces her stuffed animal collection that is alphabetically arranged from Alvin the aardvark to Zelda the zebra, she also relates her family's military life and her father's deployment.