Bound To Stay Bound

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 Oh no, the aunts are here
 Author: Rex, Adam

 Publisher:  Chronicle Books (2023)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [34] p., col. ill., 29 cm

 BTSB No: 747773 ISBN: 9781797207940
 Ages: 5-8 Grades: K-3

 Aunts -- Fiction
 Family life -- Fiction
 Humorous stories

Price: $21.88

A girl experiences a tumultuous and overwhelming visit from her aunts, but when they finally say good-bye she discovers that the uncles are on their way to visit.

 Illustrator: Cho, Lian

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (04/01/23)
   School Library Journal (11/24/23)
   Booklist (+) (04/15/23)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/05/23)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 04/15/2023 *Starred Review* The aunts are marching, and any young reader belonging to a large or even middle-size family will know what’s coming. No fewer than four of them—notably diverse in race as well as gender—burst through the door, depicted by Cho in appropriately riotous cartoon illustrations. The aunts surround a dismayed child, depicted with chubby, all-too-pinchable cheeks, before whisking her away on a sightseeing tour. Unsurprisingly considering the author (whose gems include Why?, 2019; Unstoppable, 2020; and On Account of the Gum, 2020), events that night and the morning after then take a surreal turn involving aunties on horseback, fighting off a wolf with squirts of hand sanitizer, then turning into chattering tropical birds to fly away just as a new slew of houseguests gallops into view: “OH MAN, IT’S THE UNCLES.” Along with eliciting universal nods of recognition as a common family experience, this slots nicely into themed storytimes with any number of like reunions, from John Yeoman and Quentin Blake's Meet the Family (2022) to the Cynthia Rylant/Stephen Gammell classic The Relatives Came. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 11/24/2023 K-Gr 2—The aunts have officially arrived. Carting fanny packs, hand sanitizer, lip balm, and lotion, four effervescent women descend on their niece's house and smother her with love and affection. Though chaos reigns in their presence, moments of true connection make the visit pleasantly memorable, and the aunts depart just in time for the family's next guests to arrive. Anyone who has ever hosted several high energy family members at once will recognize the intensity that is pervasive throughout. Clever use of lines of sight, repetitive phrases, and varying font gives the story a frantic feeling, especially since the book is told from the perspective of a young niece most overwhelmed by the visit. Rhythm and onomatopoeia are incorporated at opportune moments within the narrative, which gives the book a playful quality, particularly when read aloud. Though dialogue is not a primary feature, word bubbles are occasionally used to give the aunts distinct voices. Watercolor illustrations form the backdrop of the story, and they work in tandem with the book to enhance the frenzy of the aunts' visit. Each page includes a great deal of detail, as well, which will invite readers to investigate the book more closely with each read. VERDICT This is a high-energy picture book that will appeal to families with extended relatives who are larger than life.—Mary R. Lanni - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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