The Little Red Stroller by Joshua Furst, illustrated by Kathy Wu. Dial, 9780735228801, 2019
Format: Hardcover picture book
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4
What did you like about the book? A little red stroller changes hands as Luna outgrows it and her mom hands it off to Ernie’s family. Once Ernie gets too big, it passes on to Gigi and her dad. And so on. It’s a simple concept; objects we no longer need can find a new home and purpose. What makes the book memorable are the many cultures, places and kinds of families that the stroller gets to see in its travels. Furst’s narrative adopts a matter-of-fact tone as we tour Luna’s integrated city neighborhood (Brooklyn?), home to interracial couples, same sex couples, single dads, moms in hijabs and camping moms with long locs. In the end, the re-use ethic propels the story all the way back to Luna, now with a baby of her own. The little red stroller finally falls apart, but Selah’s family passes their slightly used yellow stroller to Luna’s new baby Isaiah. The colorful digital artwork is loaded with interesting and recognizable settings that will invite discussion: art museums, Halloween parades, boardwalks and a farmers’ market, to name a few.
Anything you didn’t like about it? There’s not much narrative tension or humor. It’s very concrete, but that works to get across the messages of neighborliness and sharing.
To whom would you recommend this book? Good for stimulating classroom or family discussion about choosing to re-use instead of purchasing new.
Who should buy this book? Public libraries.
Where would you shelve it? Picture books
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA
Date of review: April 26, 2019