I'm Not Moving!

I'm Not Moving! illus. by Mattia Cerato. 32p. (Family Snaps). Red Chair. 2014. lib. ed. $12.71. ISBN 9781939656087; pap. $6.95. ISBN 9781939656643. LC 2013956079.
K-Gr 2—This gentle, uncomplicated story explores the challenges of relocating. Although her parents are thrilled about her dad's new job in the city, Keesha refuses to move. She does not want to leave her horse, her school, or her friends, and she worries that they won't wear pink tutus in dance class. Her parents ignore her protests, so Keesha packs her belongings and gets in the car. As the African American family sets out, they ride past the places she loves: the farm, the woods, and the lake. Once they reach the city, the adults try to make her comfortable. Dad lets her paint her new room pink, but "'It's still not home.'" Visiting the zoo and signing up for dance classes fail to cheer her up. Finally, on her first day of school, Keesha makes two new friends who are into horses and the color pink. When they ask if she likes her new home, she looks around her high-tech classroom and replies, "'I think I do now!'" Throughout the narrative, key pieces of dialogue are highlighted in large, colored print, emphasizing Keesha's emotions. The bright, cartoon illustrations show the nervous little girl at home in the country and then in the city where everything is different. The cheerful color palette and smiling faces of her parents, teacher, and new classmates reinforce the idea that everything will be okay in the end for Keesha. For a more atmospheric portrayal of the same situation, try Deborah Underwood's Bad Bye, Good Bye (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014).—Linda L. Walkins, Saint Joseph Preparatory High School, Boston
Despite Keesha's protests, her family moves from country to city for Dad's new job. While her parents--depicted statically in the slick illustrations--try to demonstrate the city's advantages, Keesha resists the change until she sees her well-equipped classroom and meets girls with similar interests. While the quick resolution is unsatisfying, the book could be useful for those seeking stories about moving.

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