Arto's Big Move

illus. by Monica Arnaldo. 40p. Owlkids. Oct. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781771470667. LC 2014932637.
Gr 1–3—When Arto's family moves from the cold North to the South for a year, the seven year old is very resistant to the idea. In fact, despite being surrounded by cacti, adobe houses, and sand, he refuses to give up his former garb—wool hat, winter coat, boots, and wooly socks. He spends his days sweating and brooding until a classmate approaches him. Ana's family has moved often, and her knowledge of living in the North connects her to Arto immediately. As the friendship blooms, Arto begins to shed his layers, a great metaphor for opening up to change and new friendship. As the year comes to a close, Arto has mixed feelings about leaving his new home. In the end, he learns that he can take a bit of his Southern life with him. This story will resonate with many children, especially those who have experienced a move. The boldly colored, expressive illustrations adequately reflect the cold Northern climate, with its snow and bulky clothing, and the heat and desert landscape of the South.—Jasmine L. Precopio, Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh, PA
Seven-year-old Arto's family moves from an unspecified northern climate to a southern desert for a year. Arto has trouble adjusting--continuing to wear his wool layers and favorite hat--until he makes a new friend. The story is so general, and so predictable, that even though it covers an essential childhood experience, there's little emotional satisfaction. Arnaldo's illustrations are pleasant but also undistinguished.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing