(B) Ages 4-8, Book Reviews, Early Readers, Picture Books, Raising Readers
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Bad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood

bad bye good byeBad Bye, Good Bye by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Jonathan Bean. HMH Books for Young Readers, 2014. 32 pages.

Reading Level: Picture Books, ages 0-8
Maturity Level: 1 (ages 0-4) and up

Moving, even across the street, is always a major transition. When a family moves to a new city (or state), the transition is magnified. Young children have trouble giving voice to their emotions in normal circumstances, much less during the kind of tumultuous state in which a move plunges them. Underwood’s spare text in this deceptively simple book is given added depth by Bean’s fantastic illustrations. The two work together seamlessly to depict a young boy’s sadness at moving, his gradual acceptance of the move, and his final hope at meeting a new friend. Illustrations feature a unique color separation technique which shows the movers transparently in the background, busily doing their work, while the foreground shows the young boy and his dog fully experiencing each new emotional stage. Note especially the palette change as the book begins darkly and finishes up in the sunshine (this reaches even to the endpapers). A must-read for anyone in this transition, it is also an excellent tool to help young children know what a new friend might be going through (or has just experienced) and aid in teaching empathy. After all, we are commanded in Scripture to treat others the way we would like to be treated; it’s hard to know how that might look if we’ve never been in the same situation ourselves. Note that this book would also work well as an easy reader due to its repetitive, simple text.

Cautions: none

Overall Value: 4.75 (out of 5)

  • Moral/worldview value: 4.5
  • Artistic value: 5

Categories: Picture Books, Life Issues, Easy/Leveled Readers
Cover image from Amazon

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