April 26, 2018

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Floaty by John Himmelman | SLJ Review

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redstarHIMMELMAN, John. Floaty. illus. by John Himmelman. 32p. Holt. Jan. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250128058.

PreS-Gr 2 –Mr. Raisin is a grouchy old misanthrope who doesn’t like anything but sewing. When he discovers a basket at his front door containing a puppy, he is not amused. To add insult to injury, this is no ordinary animal but a floating one; in fact, this pooch never touches the ground. Realizing he can’t just kick it outside (the puppy would simply float away) he begrudgingly brings it into his home. What follows are hilarious scenes of Mr. Raisin trying to feed it by tossing cornflakes in the air, blasting a hose at the ceiling for the dog to drink, and even cleverly tying a leash to his umbrella to go on “walks.” Soon this pup charms Mr. Raisin and he decides to keep him and names him Floaty. Calamity ensues when Floaty’s leash snaps during a morning walk and he soars far away from his newfound home. Readers see the anguish this causes the old curmudgeon and are also treated to some amusing antics of Floaty surviving out in the world. A happy ending prevails when Mr. Raisin expertly sews a hot air balloon for himself and rescues his beloved pet. VERDICT With just the right mixture of humor and pathos, Himmelman delivers a visually delightful tale that will beguile young audiences. Pair this with A.N. Kang’s Papillon for a storytime filled with adorable floating animals sure to please.–Amy Nolan, St. Joseph Public Library, MI

This review was published in the School Library Journal January 2018 issue.

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