NevilleSpring 2012 Picture Books
Neville is a story for anyone who has been, or who is about to become, the new kid. As he watched the moving van round the corner, Neville's internal conversation was reduced to nevers and nobodys. I'll never feel at home here. Nobody knows me. I have no friends.
His mother tried to reassure him that everything would be OK and suggested that he take a walk down his new neighborhood block where he might meet someone. "Yeah, sure," he mumbled, "like you can make new friends just by walking down the block." Looking for himself as much as he was looking for answers, Neville takes a deep breath and calls "Neville." Nothing. He tries again and shouts "Neville." A boy appears, tells him to try again. Still no good, they join forces. With each effort, the troops grow, and the shouts searching for Neville becomes a wonderful game.
Crowded neither with platitudes, nor sentimentality, Juster's text sets the right tone for Karas's mixed media illustrations. Karas not only captures the kids, his text design amplifies as much as it underscores the call to arms - and the rallying cry that brings the promise of friendship.