From School Library Journal
PreS-K–It's one of those days. Lily's mom is sick. Her dad has to work. “‘Guess what!' says Dad. ‘You're going to play at Melanie's house! Won't that be fun?'” Hughes's gouache illustrations, notable for their charming, colorful casualness, show Dad's forced cheerfulness and Lily's skepticism. “‘Don't want to go,'” she protests. As Lily progresses from hiding under the table to participating in Melanie's household, young readers may well be thinking, that's not so bad, while adults wish that Melanie could be cloned and distributed worldwide. It's equally funny and predictable that when Dad comes to pick her up, Lily doesn't want to go. Hughes, one of the most beloved picture-book authors/illustrators in the world, is a master of understated, wry stories about the seemingly small incidents that loom large in a child's life. Her artwork looks unassuming and traditional but her brilliant layouts expertly mirror and emphasize every element in the text. While Don't Want to Go! contains a fair amount of text, it will capture the attention of preschoolers and kindergarteners when shared one-on-one and in small gatherings.–Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NYα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Starting with the image of the fuming toddler on the cover, award-winning illustrator Hughes captures a child’s body language in scenarios everyone will recognize. Lily’s mom wakes up with the flu one morning, so Dad takes Lily to play at their neighbor Melanie’s house while he is at work. Lily is clear that she hates the idea: Don’t want to go! First she sits and seethes under Melanie’s table and refuses snacks: Don’t want toast. Then she gradually bonds with Melanie’s baby, Sam, learns to cut and paste silly collages from magazines (a piece of cake on a lady’s head; a building balanced on a chest of drawers), holds the dog’s leash when they fetch Sam’s brother, Jack, from school, and snuggles with everyone on the sofa to watch television. When Dad comes to fetch Lily and bring her home, she is adamant once again: Don’t want to go! Set against plenty of white space, the expressive gouache illustrations keep the focus on Lily’s feelings, from furious to blissful. Preschool. --Hazel Rochman