cover image I Wanna Go Home

I Wanna Go Home

Karen Kaufman Orloff, illus. by David Catrow. Putnam, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-25407-9

Previously seen in I Wanna Iguana and I Wanna New Room, Alex is still exchanging plaintive missives with his parents in his third picture book, though he has upgraded to email, out of necessity—Alex and his siblings are staying in Florida with their grandparents while their parents are in Bora Bora. Alex is miserable: it’s raining, it’s boring, and he’s unnerved by seeing Grandpa’s false teeth on his bedside table (a scene that Catrow, no surprise, delights in making as icky as possible). But a square dancing class, Grandma and Grandpa’s laissez-faire attitude toward mealtime (at a diner, Alex turns nine corn dogs into an impressive statue of a poodle), and a (very) old-fashioned game of stickball soon have the boy singing another tune. Orloff skillfully expresses Alex’s gradually shifting attitude, while Catrow’s comically exaggerated art provides a hyperbolic sense of fun. Ages 5–8. (Sept.)