Bound To Stay Bound

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Booklist - 04/15/2021 In this wonderful story by Kitamura (Me and My Cat? 2020), a young boy is excited to make his first purchase using his own money. He wanders through a busy market, smelling all the delicious treats, admiring the colorful stalls, and pausing at interesting stores like the clock shop. The busy illustrations—created in pen, ink, watercolor, and gouache—­feature fine but imprecise line work that gives a childlike quality to scenes sure to resonate with young readers. Yet none of these items is what he wants to buy, so the boy continues to window shop, only to collide with a skateboarder and lose his money down a drain. Suddenly, the color goes out of the illustrations around him, reflecting the boy’s sadness, until he happens upon the Smile Shop. When he enters, color returns, and the shop owner explains that a smile is to be exchanged and shared, not bought. They smile together, and the child leaves happy once more, smiling at everyone he passes, as do they. A lovely reflection on happiness. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 12/24/2021 K-Gr 2—A little boy has enough money saved to go shopping for the first time. But what should he spend it on? The little boy is clad in blue, save for a bright red scarf. The scenery behind him is muted in color and makes the boy stand out. On his walk, he sees several things that catch his eye: apple pies, clocks, an expensive little boat, even a unique-looking horn. While the boy is window shopping, a child on a skateboard bumps into him and all the money, except one coin, goes down the gutter drain. Thinking that he can no longer buy anything, he hangs his head and then looks up and sees a shop called Smile. Inside, the boy asks if he can buy a smile with his one small coin. The shopkeeper, who is Black, tells him, "A smile is really only something you can exchange and share!" The shopkeeper offers a wide grin and the boy responds in kind. Illustrations are done in pen, ink, watercolor, and gouache. Richard Scarry—like spreads where the boy is happily window shopping, are orange-tinged and filled with busy shoppers and vendors. In the scene where he loses his money, the background is in gray instead, and the boy is the only point of color. Kitamura's expressive faces and loose line will draw readers in. VERDICT A valuable book to add to your library collection.—Tracy Cronce, Stevens Point Pub. Sch. District, WI - Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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