Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/01/2014 *Starred Review* Told from a child’s visceral, emotional perspective, this picture book depicts a family’s long-distance move. “Bad day / Bad box / Bad mop / Bad blocks / Bad truck / Bad guy / Bad wave / Bad bye.” So begins Underwood’s simple, understated text, which combines with Bean’s expressive ink and watercolors. A boy sporting a red-striped shirt actively resists as movers (depicted only from the waist down) load boxes and belongings in the pouring rain. The stressed-out family drives off in their overstuffed car, but gradually the sun comes out and life begins to look better. After a refreshing night at a motel (“Blue pool / Loud ice”), they finally arrive at their reassuring destination: “New kid / Good throw / New bugs / Good glow / Good tree / Good sky / Good friend / Good bye.” Bean’s artwork is a delight, fleshing out the story’s outlines with interesting details that encourage further conversation. Stresses are realistically depicted, but there’s never much doubt that this resilient family will adjust. Perfect for story hours or one-on-one sharing. Pair with Laurel Croza’s I Know Here (2010) or Judith Viorst’s Alexander, Who’s Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move (1995). - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/01/2014 PreS-Gr 1—A little boy is unhappy about a move to a new town, and as the family drives away from their familiar neighborhood, everyone in the car shares his sorrow. Slowly, the child's spirits lift, and he realizes that the new house may actually become a home. Concisely chosen, two-word phrases accompany the atmospheric illustrations, which aptly portray the youngster's changing emotions and tell the complete story. Drawn in ink with Prismacolor Tone, the collagelike pictures first show the boy and his dog struggling to prevent the movers from taking their possessions. The scenes of the family sadly waving good-bye to neighbors are shadowy and gray with overcast skies and a torrential downpour. Gradually the mood and palette brighten. At dusk, they drive into their new town. The movers unload the truck, and the boy explores his new room, spotting a friendly kid through the window. The new pals spend the evening catching fireflies and happily wave to each other as their mothers call them in for the night ("Good friend/Good bye"). Pair this engaging story about the uncertainties of moving with Phillis Gershator's Old House, New House (Marshall Cavendish, 2009).—Linda L. Walkins, Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston, MA - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2014 The spare rhyming text of this thoughtful picture book showcases the gamut of emotions experienced by a young child in the midst of a cross-country move. Anger and tears accompany the early lines (“Bad day/ Bad box/ Bad mop/ Bad blocks/ Bad truck/ Bad guy/ Bad wave/ Bad bye”); as the family ventures out onto the open road, some whimsical road trip details soften the anger (who doesn’t love a roadside restaurant named “Dinah’s Dina”?), and the discovery of a similarly aged boy living next door at the new house (and fireflies!) serves to turn the tide. Underwood (author of The Quiet Book, BCCB 5/10) is careful with her word selection; with only a handful sprinkled on each page, each carries considerable emotional weight. There is a definite forward momentum to the pacing that matches the topical trip as well as the movement of the boy’s emotions, from angry to neutral to content. The illustrations (ink and colored pencil with crisp layering suggesting digital assembly) resonate with the same sense of progression, with the early spreads perfectly matching the child’s inner raincloud while the later illustrations offer a glimmer of possibility. Layered washes, shadowy effects, and photographic blurs create an atmospheric chiaroscuro and metaphorically convey the passage of car and time; scratchy line details and pencil layers add texture. Many compositions have a child’s-eye perspective, with portions of the top cut off as if seen from the point of view of someone small, and the palette achieves a careful balance between vivid and muted, depending on the mood of the moment. This is a lovely portrayal of a child experiencing change as well as a graceful example of spare storytelling. HM - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.