cover image Yard Sale

Yard Sale

Eve Bunting, illus. Lauren Castillo. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6542-5

Bunting (Washday) imagines a girl in a polka-dotted pullover watching as strangers at her family’s yard sale haggle over furniture that was hers. Her family is about to move from a house into a small apartment: “It’s something to do with money,” she confides. She’s jolted when a man with a beard loads her bicycle onto his truck. “We told you, sweetie,” her father explains. “We have no place to keep it.” Bunting handles these scenes with sensitivity, making deep emotions plain. When a woman makes a joke at the end of a long day (“Aren’t you just the cutest thing?... Are you for sale?”) the girl is undone. “You wouldn’t sell me, would you?” she asks her parents, crying hard. “Not for a million, trillion dollars,” her father assures her. Castillo’s (Nana in the City) gentle scenes soften the family’s sadness. And while the conclusion is a shade optimistic (“We don’t really need anything we’ve sold”), Bunting captures the way loss can take a family’s possessions while leaving their love for each other intact. Ages 3–7. Illustrator’s agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (Apr.)