I Wanna Go Home

illus. by David Catrow. 32p. Putnam. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780399254079.
K-Gr 2—From the author and illustrator of I Wanna Iguana (Putnam, 2004) comes another terrific combination of words and pictures, told exclusively through email exchanges. This adventure has Alex, his brother, his sister, and his pet iguana staying with their grandparents at Happy Hills Retirement Community while their parents take a vacation. Bored, unhappy, frustrated by the amount of attention his younger siblings are getting, and freaked out after seeing Grandpa's false teeth soaking in a glass, Alex pleads to go home. Soon, boredom gives way to enjoyment as Alex goes to square-dancing class with grandma, teaches his grandpa to play soccer (in the house!) and gets to eat just what he wants—even corn dogs and ice cream. He learns to appreciate the older generation and the time he spends reading and playing bingo and stickball with them. "Sometimes old people really surprise me." So much so that Alex asks his mom if he can extend his visit. The exuberant, full-color illustrations are done in pencil, watercolor, and ink. They enhance the text and provide additional, humorous details in every situation. While the book works well as a fun romp, it could also be put to good use in language arts lessons about letter writing and hyperbole.—Sara-Jo Lupo Sites, George F. Johnson Memorial Library, Endicott, NY
The third epistolary I Wanna book takes as its subject Alex's week at his grandparents' retirement community. To Alex's surprise, his apprehension turns into appreciation. Orloff shoots for easy old-people targets (dentures, unhipness) but is overall gentle, and if Catrow depicts the grandparents as semigrotesque, he extends the same courtesy to the remaining cast.

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