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Yard Sale Hardcover – April 14, 2015
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—Opening on a yard full of items for sale, this picture book tackles the difficult discussion of transitioning to a smaller home or apartment. Callie, whose family is having the sale, watches as people slowly pick their way and prod through her family's items and memories. A particular heart-wrenching moment comes as a woman offers five dollars instead of 10 for a headboard because it is covered in crayon marks. Callie reflects, "I wish I hadn't put the crayon marks on there. They were to show how many times I had read Goodnight Moon." Several other small heartbreaks occur for Callie. Her bicycle is sold, she must explain to her best friend why she's leaving ("I don't know. It's something to do with money"), and she has to endure a well-intentioned woman asking, "Are you for sale?" While the topic is an extremely tough one, Bunting tackles it with her usual grace and poise. The clear and concise writing is a wonderful choice for the subject matter. The soft ink and watercolor illustrations with thick black lines portray the text excellently and without unnecessary additions. While the topic of moving is covered in a multitude of picture books, this one looks at it from a difficult perspective that most authors choose to avoid or gloss over. A vital purchase for collections everywhere.—Brooke Newberry, La Crosse Public Library, WI
While the topic is an extremely tough one, Bunting tackles it with her usual grace and poise. The clear and concise writing is a wonderful choice for the subject matter. ... A vital purchase for collections everywhere.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Callie's first-person observations reveal her distress, while poignant watercolor-and-ink illustrations reinforce her emotions through deft use of white space, color washes and strong outlines that capture postures and facial expressions. Images of forlorn Callie surrounded by a yard full of possessions, sad Callie hugging Sara, distraught Callie grabbing her bike and Callie's parents comforting her visually tug the heart. A simple, moving tale of a family in transition.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Castillo’s (Nana in the City) gentle scenes soften the family’s sadness.... Bunting captures the way loss can take a family’s possessions while leaving their love for each other intact.
...a quietly domestic, visually accessible style that offers a feeling of stability, which helps cushion the sadder implications of the story. It’s useful to have a story where moving may be no adventure for anybody in the family, but where things will still be okay.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
The story’s focus on having to move due to reduced circumstances is a welcome addition to books about contemporary problems.
Castillo’s warm and restrained ink and watercolor illustrations capture the emotions without overwhelming the reader. A lovely and honest story about a hard topic.
A straightforward, heartfelt story.
A quietly wrenching yet ultimately comforting story of a family adjusting to straitened circumstances.
—The Wall Street Journal