From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4–In this engaging entry in the series, Tomie is now in second grade, and the book's pivotal event is the bombing of Pearl Harbor. His parents help him to cope with the uncertainty by answering questions and remaining strong as a unified family. This sensitive account provides a child's-eye view of America in World War II not only in the text, but also in the grayscale illustrations, which depict the reactions of various characters and create a firm sense of time and place. Church, family, and friends are cornerstones in getting through troubled times, and this easy chapter book will offer some comfort and insight for today's children who cope with their own fears and uncertainties.–Linda M. Kenton, San Rafael Public Library, CA
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Gr. 2-4. DePaola picks up his autobiographical series right where his last title, Things Will Never Be the Same
left off: December, 7, 1941. Now in second grade, little Tomie describes the reactions to the Pearl Harbor bombings, first at home, then at church, and finally at school, where the children attend special assemblies and try to understand new concepts, such as air raids. What isn't explained fully at school, Tomie can ask about at home, and with his family's caring support, he is able to work through his fears about the war. Once again, the warm, childlike narration captures both the specifics of the time and universal experiences that will connect with most children. The shaded, black-and-white sketches on each page extend the story's small, revealing moments--stinky, wet wool mittens drying on the classroom radiator; Tomie snuggled into his grandfather's hug. Children won't recognize the war details, such as blackout curtains, but they'll see their own worries about today's conflicts and feel reassured about their safety, right along with Tomie. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved