Bad Bye, Good Byeby Deborah Underwood, Jonathan Bean (Illustrator)
“Bad truck, bad guy; bad wave, bad bye . . .” A boy and his family are packing up their old home, and the morning feels scary and sad. But when he arrives at his new home, an evening of good byes awaits: bye to new friends, bye to glowing fireflies, bye to climbing trees. The New York Times bestselling author Deborah Underwood's spare text/i>
“Bad truck, bad guy; bad wave, bad bye . . .” A boy and his family are packing up their old home, and the morning feels scary and sad. But when he arrives at his new home, an evening of good byes awaits: bye to new friends, bye to glowing fireflies, bye to climbing trees. The New York Times bestselling author Deborah Underwood's spare text and the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winner Jonathan Bean's lush, layered illustrations perfectly capture the complex emotions of moving day. The child-centric transition from dreary morning to cheerful evening comforts young readers facing big changes of their own.
It seems like there’s no good to be found in moving away and leaving friends behind: “Bad truck/ Bad guy/ Bad wave/ Bad bye.” But as a family makes their way across the country, a sense of adventure kicks in, “bad” is gradually supplanted by the possibilities of a “New town/ New park/ New street/ New bark,” which in turn hold the promise of life being “good” again. Underwood’s (The Quiet Book) ultra-succinct verse hits all the emotional marks that go along with a big transition. Bean (Building Our House), meanwhile, seems to take the topic to heart by moving in a new direction himself. He does wonderful things with light, starting with a gloomy rain scene and ending with soft, welcoming twilight. His colors—especially his reds—are gorgeously saturated, and often have a cellophane-like translucency. And his line is more geometric than before and lends the characters a look reminiscent of 1960s animation (maybe that’s why Dad uses a paper map instead of GPS to navigate). Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Erin Murphy, Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Anna Webman, Curtis Brown. (Apr.)
"Underwood's simple, understated text. . . combines with Bean's expressive ink-and-watercolors to convey a child's visceral, emotional perspective on a long-distance move."
—Booklist, starred review
"Underwood’s ultra-succinct verse hits all the emotional marks that go along with a big transition…Bean, meanwhile, seems to take the topic to heart by moving in a new direction himself. He does wonderful things with light, starting with a gloomy rain scene and ending with soft, welcoming twilight."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"This is a useful depiction of a family's physical move, but the strength is in the emotional journey that's expressed with a raw honesty."
"Concisely chosen, two-word phrases accompany the atmospheric illustrations, which aptly portray the youngster's changing emotions and tell the complete story."
—School Library Journal
"This is a lovely portrayal of a child experiencing change as well as a graceful example of spare storytelling."
PreS-Gr 1—A little boy is unhappy about a move to a new town, and as the family drives away from their familiar neighborhood, everyone in the car shares his sorrow. Slowly, the child's spirits lift, and he realizes that the new house may actually become a home. Concisely chosen, two-word phrases accompany the atmospheric illustrations, which aptly portray the youngster's changing emotions and tell the complete story. Drawn in ink with Prismacolor Tone, the collagelike pictures first show the boy and his dog struggling to prevent the movers from taking their possessions. The scenes of the family sadly waving good-bye to neighbors are shadowy and gray with overcast skies and a torrential downpour. Gradually the mood and palette brighten. At dusk, they drive into their new town. The movers unload the truck, and the boy explores his new room, spotting a friendly kid through the window. The new pals spend the evening catching fireflies and happily wave to each other as their mothers call them in for the night ("Good friend/Good bye"). Pair this engaging story about the uncertainties of moving with Phillis Gershator's Old House, New House (Marshall Cavendish, 2009).—Linda L. Walkins, Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston, MA
Underwood explores the range of emotions a child moving to a new place may feel with a spare, rhyming text that creates a framework for Bean's evocative illustrations. An overbearing gray pall pulls readers into a young boy's world of frustration, anger and hurt over moving. Pencil drawings with graphically stylized flat areas of color give detail to the four words of text per spread. "Bad mop / Bad blocks // Bad truck / Bad guy" (this last is the man loading the family's belongings into the van). A car chugs through a changing landscape as the boy throws a tantrum, sleeps, brightens and hesitates. Bean effectively layers tones and imagery to depict the passage of time and bring forth the immediacy of a situation. As the boy enters his new house at night, there's sensory overload, with light, shadows and the unfamiliar, creating an unsettling feel. But all ends well when a new acquaintance becomes a friend. Not every family or child may experience such negative emotions, but Underwood and Bean offer a potential tool for teaching empathy toward others who have made such a transition. This is a useful depiction of a family's physical move, but the strength is in the emotional journey that's expressed with a raw honesty. (Picture book. 4-8)
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
- Publication date:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 8.50(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.50(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 8 Years
Meet the Author
Deborah Underwood has written many books for children. She lives in San Francisco. www.DeborahUnderwoodBooks.com.
Jonathan Bean has worked for numerous publishers and his illustration and writing have received widespread recognition. He has illustrated six picture books and just won his second Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for his latest book, Building Our House. He lives in Harrisburg, PA. www.jonathanbean.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I bought this for my 3 year grandson who was in the hospital. He loves cars and trucks. He could tell me every car and truck in the book. He loved the pictures and the story. As a grandma I'm glad I bought the book for him. Now it will be an excuse for dad to give him a hug as he reads the book to him.