________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 13 . . . . November 28, 2014


Arto's Big Move.

Monica Arnaldo.
Toronto, ON: Owlkids Books, 2014.
40 pp., hardcover, pdf & EPUB, $18.95 (hc.), $9.99 (pdf), $9.99 (EPUB).
ISBN 978-1-77147-066-7 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-77147-123-7 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-77147-124-4 (EPUB).

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Karyn Miehl.

**** /4



They drove all night and all day, and then through the night again. On the morning of the third day, Arto woke with a stuffy, sweaty, overheated feeling. Heavy sunlight streamed in through his window. Curious, Arto peered outside.

The world beyond the window was completely different from anything Arto had ever seen. Instead of tall, spiky pine trees, the road was lined with short, prickly plants. Something was wrong with the houses, too. The roofs were flat, instead of pointed. Strange birds drifted past a sun that looked big and hot and mean.

Arto pulled his coat around his shoulders and didn't look out the window again for the rest of the ride.

Arto's Big Move is a book that kids who have moved will be able to relate to. Arto, having lived in the North his whole life, is resistant to the change brought about by his family's temporary move to the South. Arto clings to his desire to return home and is slow to accept his new situation. After befriending Ana, Arto slowly begins to embrace life in the South and, when it's time to return to the North, finds the thought somewhat less appealing than he thought he would.

internal art      This story shows how friendship can help children cope with, and become more accepting of, new situations. It can also show adult readers just how hard big changes, such as moving, can be for children.

      The illustrations in this book are bright and colourful, and Arto's facial expressions do a good job of showing his emotions. Some images - such as the page where Arto is sitting alone in front of his new house in the South, dressed in his winter gear, while other kids play together in another yard - show in a visual way the loneliness and isolation that Arto must feel. Another interesting picture accompanies the text explaining that "Arto spent less time brooding by himself, and more and more time playing with Ana and their other new friends." The picture here shows Arto playing outside while still wearing his winter pants, sweater and hat; inside the house, Arto has left behind his coat, boots and wool socks. It is symbolic in that Arto is shedding his reservations and connection to the North and becoming more comfortable in the South. Details such as these mentioned here would be good conversation starters with young readers to enable them to connect image and text and to look closely at details and make inferences.

      Arto's Big Move is a good book for young readers as it explores one of the many challenges of changes that children face; it shows them that, while change may be different, it can also be good.

Highly Recommended.

Karyn Miehl, a mother of two and a secondary school English teacher, lives in Kingsville, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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