Synopses & Reviews
NORTON JUSTER is the acclaimed author of the children's novel The Phantom Tollbooth,
and the Caldecott-winning picture book, The Hello, Goodbye Window,
among others. His book The Dot and the Line
was made into an Academy Award winning film. He was also a practicing architect until his retirement.
G. BRIAN KARAS is the prolific, versatile, and award-winning illustrator and writer of many books for children, including Clever Jack Takes the Cake, which received four starred reviews; How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?; Are You Going to Be Good?, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; Home on the Bayou, which was the recipient of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award; and Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming. You can visit him at GbrianKaras.com.
"In this emotionally authentic tale of an unhappy new kid in town, Karas (Young Zeus) pictures the boy unnamed at first punting a box off his front stoop, then grumpily taking his mother's advice to 'take a little walk down the block.' The boy slouches to a street corner and begins to call out the name 'Neville.' As he shouts, other children gather to help and ask about Neville ('When did he move here?'). Oddly, they never ask the boy his own name, nor do they fret when Neville fails to appear. By sunset, the displaced child can half-smile at having made acquaintances. Karas's melancholy illustrations brighten and expand as the mood improves; small, quiet type sets the sullen tone, until colorful hand-lettered display type implies the children's collective chatter. Readers learn the boy's name only at bedtime (hint: it starts with N), a resolution that reinforces sympathy. Juster (The Odious Ogre) identifies a common, stressful situation, and Karas handles the drama with compassion, implying a lonely, single-parent household. Even if the narrative logic falls short, this poignant tale expresses a longing for connections. Ages 4 8." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Underwood's simple, understated text. . . combines with Bean's expressive ink-and-watercolors to convey a child's visceral, emotional perspective on a long-distance move."
and#8212;Booklist, starred review
"Underwoodand#8217;s ultra-succinct verse hits all the emotional marks that go along with a big transitionand#8230;Bean, meanwhile, seems to take the topic to heart by moving in a new direction himself. He does wonderful things with light, starting with a gloomy rain scene and ending with soft, welcoming twilight."
and#8212;Publishers Weekly, starred review
"This is a useful depiction of a family's physical move, but the strength is in the emotional journey that's expressed with a raw honesty."
"Concisely chosen, two-word phrases accompany the atmospheric illustrations, which aptly portray the youngster's changing emotions and tell the complete story."
and#8212;School Library Journal
"This is a lovely portrayal of a child experiencing change as well as a graceful example of spare storytelling."
Moving to a new town, new home, and new school is hard. But could the new destination have good surprises of its own? In aand#160;less-than-eighty-word picture book, see how a bad day turns good!
and#8220;Bad truck, bad guy; bad wave, bad bye . . .and#8221; A boy and his family are packing up their old home, and the morning feels scary and sad. But when he arrives at his new home, an evening of good byes awaits: bye to new friends, bye to glowing fireflies, bye to climbing trees. The New York Times bestselling author Deborah Underwood's spare text and the Boston Globeand#8211;Horn Book Award winner Jonathan Bean's lush, layered illustrations perfectly capture the complex emotions of moving day. The child-centric transition from dreary morning to cheerful evening comforts young readers facing big changes of their own.