Bound To Stay Bound

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 Author: Gastaldi, Federico

 Publisher:  Christy Ottaviano Books (2023)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [34] p., col. ill., 26 x 26 cm

 BTSB No: 370283 ISBN: 9780316381840
 Ages: 3-6 Grades: K-1

 Pets -- Fiction
 Fishes -- Fiction
 Death -- Fiction
 Grief -- Fiction

Price: $23.28

A young boy grieves when his pet fish dies, but his heart is full of the good memories he had with his fish friend.

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/15/23)
   School Library Journal (11/24/23)
   Booklist (10/15/23)
 The Hornbook (00/09/23)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 10/15/2023 One morning, Atticus wakes up to find that his pet goldfish, Chip, is not in his bowl. Where is Chip? Atticus asks his parents and his favorite uncle. Their answers represent various euphemisms and clichés about death: gone, lives up there, in a better place, and so on. For Atticus, these answers only lead to more questions and confusion, wittily illustrated by Gastaldi. For example, Atticus remembers his grandma also living in the sky, and the picture shows her and Chip—in his fishbowl—floating on bouquets of balloons. A better place for a fish looks like an underwater amusement park. In the end, Atticus finds comfort in his memories of his pet. Despite the book's implied critique of euphemisms, it never uses the words died or death to explain what happened to Chip. Perhaps that is a gap for adult readers to fill in. A heartfelt book for children who have lost a pet, and a reminder to adults to consider their language in such situations. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 11/24/2023 PreS-Gr 3—What begins as a regular day takes a turn toward the unknown for young Atticus when he realizes that his pet fish, Chip, is gone. But Atticus does not understand exactly where Chip went or when he might return. Whether Chip is living in the sky, has simply moved on, or has gone to a better place, all Atticus knows is he wants his beloved friend back. And as the weeks pass, memories find their way to Atticus as he remembers the good times he and Chip shared together. This succinct story is very relevant to a contemporary audience, especially to children who are unfamiliar with the concept of death and are unprepared when a dear pet passes away. Humor is inserted as Atticus interprets the metaphorical words of his caregivers in a literal way, but at the core of this story is the absence Atticus feels in his heart when Chip is gone. Brief text and a limited color palette work together to describe Atticus's loss in a visual way, while simultaneously making the book accessible to a wide range of young readers. Sweet and heartfelt, this tale will resonate with families and will invite conversation with every reading. VERDICT This is a helpful tool for families experiencing the loss of a pet or a loved one, and a good addition to library collections for young readers.—Mary R. Lanni - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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