CM . . .
. Volume XXIV Number 3. . . .September 22, 2017
Milo and Georgie are siblings, but they view their family’s move to a new city from completely different perspectives. Milo is determined to focus on the negative, intoning that “this is the most awful place on earth” as he gripes about their smelly house and geriatric babysitter. Georgie, on the other hand, displays unbridled curiosity about her new surroundings and begs Milo to let her explore their neighbourhood. While Milo refuses to join her, he allows Georgie to venture out with a red string tied around her waist, tugging twice on the string when it’s time for her to come home. This proves to be a workable arrangement until, one day, Georgie doesn’t come home. Milo is forced to venture outside in search of his sister, discovering along the way that his new city is more vibrant, generous and exciting than he could have ever imagined.
Bree Galbraith’s uplifting narrative serves as the perfect antidote to childhood fears of moving. Change is difficult at the best of times, and young readers will intuitively understand Milo’s reticence to venture into the unknown. Smartly, the narrative never advocates for Milo to be cajoled out of his negativity by a parent or teacher. Instead, the narrative allows Milo to accept his new surroundings on his own terms and in his own time. With this same gentle spirit, Galbraith champions the power of community and strong family ties as neighborhood residents rally around Milo to help him find his sister. Through this positive emphasis on community support, young readers will come to understand that kindness and generosity are essential to cultivating happiness. In support of the book’s cheerful tone, Josée Bisaillon’s beguiling mixed-media illustrations are bright and whimsical, teaming with fun details that will encourage shared reading between parent and child.
Chloe Humphreys is a newly minted librarian with a passion for children’s literature and reading. She works at Vancouver Public Library, and lives in beautiful North Vancouver, BC.
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