Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books


Spring 2012 Picture Books
Ages: 4 & Up
Author: Norton Juster
Illustrator: G. Brian Karas
ISBN: 978-0375867651
Hardcover Price: $17.99

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.

Claire Green   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Claire is president of Parents' Choice Foundation and cofounder of Sandbox Summit®. She looks for toys and media that will unleash children's interests, and celebrate the fun of learning.

Look for this product at:
Random House Children's Books

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