From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 2—Young Clancy moves with his parents from their small suburban home to a much larger house in a different neighborhood. He finds the rooms too expansive and the view at night from his window "too big." His mother and father think that "It's a very fine dwelling." While hiding in one of the many moving boxes outside, Clancy hears a friendly voice that coaxes him out. Millie wants to join him, and together they configure boxes into towers and trains, and play out the story of "The Three Little Pigs." Clancy declares the third house an impressive superstructure, "a very fine dwelling." Gleeson's text captures the boy's emotions as he adjusts to the change and makes a new friend. Blackwood's outstanding illustrations use laser print from the scans of pencil drawings, watercolors, and gouache on the backs of large brown envelopes. Muted browns and grays are juxtaposed with bright reds and oranges for the clothing and children's features. Perspective provides depth and compassion. In one of many insets, Clancy and his toy dog sit in their "cubby house" underneath the kitchen table in his old home and share the spread with a long view of the large new kitchen. Another spread features an aerial view of the neighborhood and a train made of the boxes winding around the yard. Cloud images in shapes of pigs follow Clancy through the story. A great choice for reading to a group or sharing one-on-one.—Anne Beier, Clifton Public Library, NJ
(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
On moving day, Clancy’s mother calls their new home “the best house,” and his father proclaims it “a very fine dwelling,” but Clancy is not so sure. Clutching a stuffed animal, he walks from room to room, and each one seems vast, unlike the cozy spaces in the little house they’ve left. Clancy escapes to the backyard, where he begins to build towers with the empty moving boxes. When Millie, a neighbor girl, joins him, their imaginative play helps him feel happy in his new surroundings. Written and illustrated with sensitivity and flair, this large-format picture book will resonate with other children who have felt out of place in new surroundings. The simple, well-chosen words articulate Clancy’s thoughts and actions, while the mixed-media artwork visually expresses his emotions. The sight of Clancy dwarfed by large, empty-looking rooms is haunting. Australians Gleeson and Blackwood also created Half a World Away (2007), another perceptive picture book about moving. Preschool-Grade 2. --Carolyn Phelan