Fall in Line, Holden! by Daniel W. Vandever | SLJ Review

K-Gr 3 –This unique picture book explores how Holden, a Navajo boy with a dramatic imagination, navigates through a typical school day in a rigid residential school.

redstarVANDEVER, Daniel W. Fall in Line, Holden! illus. by Daniel W. Vandever. 32p. Salina Bookshelf. Jul. 2017. Tr $21.95. ISBN 9781893354500.

K-Gr 3 –This unique picture book explores how Holden, a Navajo boy with a dramatic imagination, navigates through a typical school day in a rigid residential school. Readers travel with Holden and his classmates, who are trained to “fall in line” as they walk past art covered walls, laughing custodial staff, the gym, and other familiar places in school. As they pass in line, Holden’s imagination takes control, and he imagines activities sights and sounds beyond the hallways. The eye-catching graphics permit children to view with wonder the places Holden’s thoughts travel This book is perfect for an interactive read-aloud experience as the artwork, although simply rendered, communicates beyond the text to provide a rich experience. The illustrations are perfect for teaching students to decode graphic images and explain what they mean. A refreshing and lighthearted view of a day in the life of child with a healthy imagination and spirit of exploration and discovery. VERDICT Highly recommended.–Naomi Caldwell, Alabama State University, Montgomery

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

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