Bound To Stay Bound

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 Do you remember?
 Author: Smith, Sydney

 Publisher:  Neal Porter Books (2023)

 Classification: Easy
 Physical Description: [40] p., col. ill., 26 cm

 BTSB No: 827042 ISBN: 9780823442621
 Ages: 4-8 Grades: K-3

 Mother-son relationship -- Fiction
 Memory -- Fiction

Price: $23.28

A mother and son trade reassuring memories during a time of change and upheaval.

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/23)
   School Library Journal (+) (11/01/23)
   Booklist (+) (12/01/23)
 The Hornbook (+) (00/09/23)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 10/01/2023 *Starred Review* Beginning with a dramatic book cover composed almost entirely of a boy's face, strong emotion is conveyed through effective illustrations and book design. The first images depict a mother and son, talking in a darkened room, the text color changing to denote each speaker. The mother begins describing a happy memory. Six small illustrations act as scenes, telling the visual story of the memory: a field, a blanket, you, me, and your dad. Next, a flowing two-page spread from the boy’s perspective shows the conclusion, with the parents looking at each other and the boy’s hands offering them berries. Then, back in the darkened room, the boy shares a memory of learning to ride a bike. They talk of a big rainstorm and then of packing to leave their home. Now, it is just the two of them; no explanation is given about what has happened to the father. By the end of the book, the mother has fallen asleep, but the boy is telling his own story about their new home and how they will be OK, reassuring himself and watching over her. The undertone of sadness is ever present but so is the feeling of hope. The design and details in the illustrations ask readers to proceed slowly, think beyond what is stated, and construct their own interpretations of story and memory. - Copyright 2023 Booklist.

School Library Journal - 11/01/2023 K-Gr 3—The eyes on the book jacket tell it all, capturing the bluish-gray irises of a young boy clearly in retrospect. Readers' minds are transfixed by the world of this boy, wondering what thoughts are behind his eyes, while their hearts prepare to engage with the book's characters. The panels within the book frame the thoughts of the mother and son in bed remembering times gone by. The pink words on a page chronicle the mother's precious, unforgettable memories of their family; additionally, the son's words in blue express his response to her specific memory, which in turn, allows him to articulate one of his own. The picnic with Dad, the new birthday bicycle, and moving to a new city renders a story of loss of items and loved ones, and genuinely embraces a new beginning. The story flows from frames to full-page art, denoting life's ebbs and restorations. Mother and son choose the sensible response to loss; remembering the good times enables them to move forward with hope. The last image of the boy's eyes expressing new memories are on the horizon as the sunlight brightens a new day. The author delicately and triumphantly creates a book worth remembering, with a relatable topic for families and school-age children who also may be suffering loss. VERDICT Although not a happy or popular topic, the subject matter and time of year make this more than worthy of consideration. Readers and listeners alike will be heartened by the lesson of using memories from the past to envision dreams for the future.—Tanya Haynes - Copyright 2023 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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