That Neighbor Kid

That Neighbor Kid

I think Wishtree by Katherine Applegate just had a baby.  It's this book... about a boy, girl and a tree.

This is a nearly wordless picture book that begins with a neighborhood, a moving truck and that unpredictable thing called change.  A moving van has pulled up in front of a home and across the street, just the top of a head and two eyes are keeping a hopeful watch on the unloading.  Will something or someone fantastic come of this change?  Or not?

The little girl peeking out at the proceedings is so familiar it makes you laugh out loud.  You know you would be watching and hoping too and you know you wouldn't want anyone to see you either.

Turns out a boy is moving into the house next door. He isn't one of those video game playing kids, at least at this point.  He's a get outside and make something happen kind of guy.  She summons her courage and risks going over to meet him as he begins to do something amazing. He is taking wood from the fence that separates them and using the planks to create steps to the biggest branches in a fabulous tree where a treehouse would fit in perfectly.

Meeting someone new and making room for them and how they do things is what a friendship is made of.  Taking down fences and walls and using the raw materials to make something that brings people together is also what a friendship is made of.

The one word in this story is, "Hi."

Hopeful, happy, filled with laughter and fun, this book could be a metaphor for what is missing in our world today.  It could also be a simple read aloud for young children with plenty of chance for prediction and inference practice.  Lovely.

32 pages 978-1481449793    Ages 4-8

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge, abookandahug.com

********** Acclaimed author/illustrator Daniel Miyares returns to the sweet, nostalgic tone of his beloved illustrated book, Float, in this gorgeous, spare picture book about making a new friend.

There’s a new boy in the neighborhood, and he’s up to something very curious. His next door neighbor, a girl his age with two long braids, peeps around corners and watches as he scavenges wood from the fence between their houses, drags around a hammer and a bucket of nails, and reads a book about living in trees. When she finally works up the courage to say “hi,” she finds herself invited to help build the private getaway every child has dreamed of: a tree house. She also finds herself with a new best friend.--from the publisher

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