Goodbye, Old House by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Ann James

Goodbye, Old House by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Ann James. Blue Dot Kids Press, 2021. 9781736226452

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Format: Hardcover 

Genre: Picture book

What did you like about the book? “This is the last time I’ll fish in this river”.  “Goodbye, Old House” opens with a young child saying goodbye to everything in their old space. Goodbye to the river, the yard, the mouse, the house and their bedroom. Exactly in the center of the book, with the transition being a double spread of the child and mom driving in a car, the book turns from saying goodbye to saying hello. Now we follow the child as they say hello to the outside of the new house, the gate, the yard, and finally rooms and their new bedroom. This is a fantastic transition book for kids on the move. Although a might bit too jolly in saying goodbye perhaps, it does show that it is possible to look forward to being in a new home. Acrylic gauche backgrounds are colorful and luminous while the main character is shown in black and white pen and ink. Stark and colorful all in the same spread makes the main character jump off the page. 

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Anyone who is moving, of course. I would add an element that it would be a great book to share with a child who is struggling with moving. Sam, the main character in Goodbye, Old House really shows the joy in looking towards the future.

Who should buy this book? Nursery schools, preschools and elementary classrooms, libraries both school and public.  

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No 

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Pam WattsFlavin, Head of Children’s Services, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA.

Date of review: September 16, 2021

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