Sunday, November 1, 2009

REVIEW: New Kid in Town

Freedman, C., & Stephenson, K.  (2006).  New Kid in Town.  Intercourse, PA:  Good Books.

Interest Rating:  !!
With the feel of a western, Mouse is new in town.  He is welcomed by his new neighbors, but is cautioned to be cautious of the Big Wolf who lives on a nearby hill.
The illustrations of the animals are cute and child-like.  I was kind of surprised to see some species included that aren't native to the west (Giraffes??????  Really?).  While kids won't mind at all, if a teacher did plan to use this in a lesson on the "ol' wild west," the presence of giraffes may complicate a discussion.
To go slightly spoiler-y on you, it turns out the Big Wolf isn't quite as awful as many of the towns animals assumed.  I liked that this played with the reader's expectations that come with so many big bad wolves populating children's literature.
New Kid in Town can help to ease the concerns of a child who is moving to a new town.  A teacher can point out the different places Mouse goes to make new friends.
This book can also be used to encourage students to see beyond appearances and to befriend children who may seem different or to consider the motives of bullies.
Quotes of Note:
"Mouse was the New Kid In Town.  He bounced in from over the hill, looking for a new place to live, and came upon Badger's Bakery.  "Hello!" said Mouse, strolling in.  "I'm the New Kid In Town."
"Watch out for the nasty Big Wolf who lives on the hill.  He's huge and hairy, and wild and scary.  BEWARE!"
"BEWARE of the horrible Big Wolf who lives on the hill.  He's ugly and mean, and his teeth are slime green.  Watch out!"

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