Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The new boy at school refuses to take off the long blue blazer that hides his extraterrestrial identity. Ages 3-6. (June)
Children's Literature - Joyce Rice
Wilson is the new boy in my class. He just walked in today. The teacher knew he was coming, but no one else seemed to know anything about him. Wilson shook off the snow and took off his wet cap, scarf, and mittens. Wilson wouldn't take off his coat, a long, blue blazer. When we painted pictures and had to wear aprons, Wilson wore the apron over his blue blazer. Wilson painted a picture of his mother in a long, blue blazer. After school, no one came for Wilson. He went to my house, where my mom fed him and put him to bed. In the night, I awoke to see Wilson standing at the window in his long, blue blazer. That's the last time I saw Wilson. What a delightful fantasy to share with young readers. 1997 (orig.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2 A little girl is curious about the strange new boy who appears at school one day. ``He had short arms and short legs and big feet that stuck out from under his long blue blazer.'' And come what may, he won't take off that blazer. When school is over the other children run to their mothers and fathers, but the new boy stands alone, looking wistfully up into the sky. The girl's mother agrees to take the strange boy home, where he is fed and comforted and finally put to bed, still in his long blue blazer. In the middle of the night, the little girl witnesses a fantastic reunion between the strange little boy and his other-worldly Mom. Like Edward Ardizzone, Varley has a knack for capturing subtle emotions with a few deft lines of ink. And like him, she uses gentle watercolor washes to convey the cozy intimacy of a child's world. Her inventive humor contributes visual clues to the strange boy's identity which add to the pleasure of rereading this book. The story itself blends familiar experiences in the lives of young childrenbeing new at school, waiting for an overdue parentwith the fantastic. The result is a modern fantasy that will satisfy young readers and read-aloud audiences alike. Carolyn Polese, Gateway Community School, Arcata, Calif.