Bad Bye, Good Bye

Deborah Underwood, illus. by Jonathan Bean. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-547-92852-4
It seems like there’s no good to be found in moving away and leaving friends behind: “Bad truck/ Bad guy/ Bad wave/ Bad bye.” But as a family makes their way across the country, a sense of adventure kicks in, “bad” is gradually supplanted by the possibilities of a “New town/ New park/ New street/ New bark,” which in turn hold the promise of life being “good” again. Underwood’s (The Quiet Book) ultra-succinct verse hits all the emotional marks that go along with a big transition. Bean (Building Our House), meanwhile, seems to take the topic to heart by moving in a new direction himself. He does wonderful things with light, starting with a gloomy rain scene and ending with soft, welcoming twilight. His colors—especially his reds—are gorgeously saturated, and often have a cellophane-like translucency. And his line is more geometric than before and lends the characters a look reminiscent of 1960s animation (maybe that’s why Dad uses a paper map instead of GPS to navigate). Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Anna Webman, Curtis Brown. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/10/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
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