I Wanna Go Home


Another hilarious companion to I Wanna Iguana.

Alex is not happy about being sent to his grandparents’ retirement community while his parents go on a fabulous vacation. What could be worse than tagging along to Grandma’s boring bridge game or enduring the sight of Grandpa’s dentures?
But as the week goes on, Alex’s desperate emails to...

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Another hilarious companion to I Wanna Iguana.

Alex is not happy about being sent to his grandparents’ retirement community while his parents go on a fabulous vacation. What could be worse than tagging along to Grandma’s boring bridge game or enduring the sight of Grandpa’s dentures?
But as the week goes on, Alex’s desperate emails to his parents turn into stories about ice cream before dinner and stickball with Grandpa. Before he knows it, Alex has made a surprising discovery: grandparents are way cooler than he thought!
Masterfully balancing hilarity and heart, Karen Kaufman Orloff and Dave Catrow deliver a story sure to entertain kids and grandparents everywhere.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Previously seen in I Wanna Iguana and I Wanna New Room, Alex is still exchanging plaintive missives with his parents in his third picture book, though he has upgraded to email, out of necessity—Alex and his siblings are staying in Florida with their grandparents while their parents are in Bora Bora. Alex is miserable: it’s raining, it’s boring, and he’s unnerved by seeing Grandpa’s false teeth on his bedside table (a scene that Catrow, no surprise, delights in making as icky as possible). But a square dancing class, Grandma and Grandpa’s laissez-faire attitude toward mealtime (at a diner, Alex turns nine corn dogs into an impressive statue of a poodle), and a (very) old-fashioned game of stickball soon have the boy singing another tune. Orloff skillfully expresses Alex’s gradually shifting attitude, while Catrow’s comically exaggerated art provides a hyperbolic sense of fun. Ages 5–8. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—From the author and illustrator of I Wanna Iguana (Putnam, 2004) comes another terrific combination of words and pictures, told exclusively through email exchanges. This adventure has Alex, his brother, his sister, and his pet iguana staying with their grandparents at Happy Hills Retirement Community while their parents take a vacation. Bored, unhappy, frustrated by the amount of attention his younger siblings are getting, and freaked out after seeing Grandpa's false teeth soaking in a glass, Alex pleads to go home. Soon, boredom gives way to enjoyment as Alex goes to square-dancing class with grandma, teaches his grandpa to play soccer (in the house!) and gets to eat just what he wants—even corn dogs and ice cream. He learns to appreciate the older generation and the time he spends reading and playing bingo and stickball with them. "Sometimes old people really surprise me." So much so that Alex asks his mom if he can extend his visit. The exuberant, full-color illustrations are done in pencil, watercolor, and ink. They enhance the text and provide additional, humorous details in every situation. While the book works well as a fun romp, it could also be put to good use in language arts lessons about letter writing and hyperbole.—Sara-Jo Lupo Sites, George F. Johnson Memorial Library, Endicott, NY
Kirkus Reviews
A child's skepticism takes a header when a vacation with Grandma and Grandpa proves more wild than mild. After getting his iguana (I Wanna Iguana, 2004) and failing to successfully petition for his own space (I Wanna New Room, 2010), Alex returns for a third time, and now the situation's truly dire. His parents are taking off for Bora Bora, which means he and his siblings are slated to stay with their grandparents for the duration. Broccoli lasagna and the absence of both video games and computers are bound to lead to a terrible time. In his initial, desperate letters and emails written to his vacationing parents, Alex pleads with them to return ASAP. Yet soon, Alex is singing a different tune, as he discovers square dancing, bingo, stickball and other wonderful aspects of old-folk living. Turns out that two weeks just isn't enough time. The epistolary picture book is hardly a new genre, but it can prove a difficult one. Orloff handles the format as well as the subject with grace and aplomb. Alex's gradual acceptance of his doting ancestors plays out believably, pairing beautifully with Catrow's controlled craziness. The pencils, watercolors and inks find the funny in almost every single spread. A clever conceit ably rendered; this is bound to prove popular with loving grandparents and caustic kids alike. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399254079
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 9/25/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 238,380
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Kaufman Orloff lives in Hopewell Junction, New York.

David Catrow, illustrator of the Book Sense Best Book of the Year Finalist Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon, lives in Springfield, Ohio.

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