cover image A New Room for William

A New Room for William

Sally Grindley. Candlewick Press (MA), $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-7636-1196-5

""I like my old room better,"" says William at the beginning of this gentle picture book about adjusting to change. But by the time he helps his mother put up his new dinosaur wallpaper and makes friends with a new neighbor, William learns to like his new room after all. The tale takes a surprising twist at the end when William asks, ""Will Dad let me choose the paper for my room at his new house?"" Grindley (What Are Friends For?) charts William's gradual change in attitude toward his new home with warmth and sympathy. Occasionally the dialogue seems heavy-handed (""What did it matter that this jungle gym was in Tom's [his next-door neighbor's] yard and not his?"" asks the narrator. ""Jungle gyms were only fun if you had someone to play with, and [William] didn't have a friend next door at his old house""), but Thompson's (Bumpety Bump) mixed media, cartoonlike illustrations of William's evolving surroundings help to cement the hero's newfound state of contentment. William's Tintin-like countenance, the joy he finds in his next-door neighbor's company and the cheerful, crayon-bright wallpaper dinosaurs are appealing enough to provide plenty of reassurance to young readers facing similar unwanted changes. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)