Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Review - Bad Bye, Good Bye

Bad Bye, Good Bye

by Deborah Underwood
illustrated by Jonathan Bean
Date: 2014
Publisher: Clarion Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

“Bad truck, bad guy; bad wave, bad bye . . .” A boy and his family are packing up their old home, and the morning feels scary and sad. But when he arrives at his new home, an evening of good byes awaits: bye to new friends, bye to glowing fireflies, bye to climbing trees. The New York Times bestselling author Deborah Underwood's spare text and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winner Jonathan Bean's lush, layered illustrations perfectly capture the complex emotions of moving day. The child-centric transition from dreary morning to cheerful evening comforts young readers facing big changes of their own.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I think my ovaries may have shrivelled a little while reading this. That beginning is so stressful! While it's a faithful representation of child angst and tantrums, I could practically hear the shrieking.

So, aside from a couple of parents who apparently did absolutely nothing to prepare their child for a move (he blames the movers, calling them "bad"), this story just shows, rather predictably, that change is good. The message might be new to some kids, but I've seen this done many times already (and in ways that didn't make me want to run out and stock up on birth control). I also really dislike the ending, which might be confusing to some kids; while adults will get the whole "bad bye, good bye" thing, a child might be fairly concerned at the final "good bye", thinking that the poor family is going to have to move again.

For much a more relaxing book about moving, check out Nicola O'Byrne's adorable Where Is Home, Daddy Bear?

Premise: 2/5
Meter: 4/5
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 2.29 out of 5

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