Reviews for Everything Is Different at Nonna's House
Booklist Reviews 2003 June #1
PreS. In this sunny offering, a young city boy delights in the pleasures of his grandparents' country home and becomes more self-assured along the way. In simple, poetic language, written in the boy's voice, Cohen contrasts Nonna's peaceful, rural house with the boy's city home. At Nonna's, the boy rides a tractor instead of an elevator; waters and cares for flowers outside Nonna's kitchen door instead of buying them; and takes time to make pancakes in the happy, slow mornings. Best of all, Nonna reminds him that he sees the same moon and sky at her house that he sees back home in the city, and that "he's a big boy everywhere." Cohen's text, like Nonna's house, is filled with "happy, laughy words," and lots of hugs, kisses, and reassuring reminders that the boy is strong, capable, and loved, wherever he is. Nakata's stylish, light-filled watercolors extend the carefree, exuberant mood. The boy's father is subtly omitted from the story, and these joyful, matter-of-fact family scenes may have additional appeal to children without a dad at home. ((Reviewed June 1 & 15, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2003 Fall
When a young city boy visits his grandparents in the country, he helps them make breakfast, water the flowers, etc. Returning home, he has a new sense of maturity. Although the boy's narrative sounds too mature for a child delighted to be called a ""big boy,"" the theme of self-actualization and the stylized watercolors are appealing. Copyright 2003 Horn Book Guide Reviews
Kirkus Reviews 2003 May #2
A cheery tale in child-bright colors offers a city vs. country theme. A little boy and his mom take a taxi from their city apartment to the train and then to Nonna and Pop-Pop's house in the country, where "the whole blue sky reaches all the way down to the flower beds." In the country, he rides a tractor, not an elevator, and there's no deli on the corner, but there are cows. In the city, flowers come from the corner shop, but at Nonna's, they grow beside the kitchen door. He relates in the sweetest of language how there's no rushing for school and work at Nonna's, there's always time for making pancakes. But when he gets back home to the city, he can hold the moon in his hands from his city window, just like he could at Nonna's. Nakata's fresh, dappled watercolors perfectly suit this story, with its apple-cheeked figures, flower-covered countryside, and lively cityscape that looks, with its yellow taxis and glimpse of the Empire State Building, just like a happy New York City. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2003 April #4
When a boy and his mother leave the city for his grandparents' farm, "everything is different." This beguiling young narrator's comparisons flow with believable, grammatically creative child-speak: "No honk, honk taxis jam the street./ And no way-up buildings crowd the sky." He accurately gauges the relaxed atmosphere, too. "When the sun pokes in,/ it's get-up time, but very slow. Momma smiles,/ right there, and never goes away." In a sly, wisely reassuring conspiracy, Cohen (The Mud Pony) and Nakata (Don't Step on the Sky: A Handful of Haiku) bridge the dichotomy, celebrating the virtues of town and country. In numerous spreads, Nakata juxtaposes spot art of busy city life with larger scenes of bucolic bliss, but subtly unifies these worlds with upbeat, sunny watercolors . Her jumbled up taxis and jangling alarm clocks feel happily energetic rather than frenetic; the flowers so abundant at Nonna's pop up at a city flower shop, too. One magical night on the farm, the boy thinks that he holds the moon when he encircles its image with his hands. He muses that even "the whole sky is different," but Nonna reassures him that wherever he is, the sky is the same, and that he is the same, dearly loved "big boy." Those new to travel or separated from loved ones especially may find comfort in this affection-filled tale, convincingly told in the voice of an experienced peer. Ages 3-6. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2003 July
PreS-Gr 3-An intergenerational story filled with love and affection. A city boy and his mom visit his grandparents' farm. At Nonna's, "There's always time for blueberry pancakes." Instead of riding the apartment elevator, he rides the tractor with Pop-Pop. Here, there's no deli, only "moo cows." The important moment arrives when he and Nonna go out to see the moon. The sky looks different to him, and when he reaches up, it seems as though he can hold the moon in his hands. He tells his grandmother, "At your house, I'm a big boy," and she explains that it's the same sky and that he's a big boy no matter where he is. With its sunny yellow checkerboard cover and endpapers and its palette of warm hues, this cheerful picture book has just the right illustrations to carry it along. The rounded and elongated figures dance across the pages. Many of the objects are no more than splashes of color, but the slow, homey feel of the country and the bustling mood of the city are clearly delineated. Pair this with Edith Hurd's I Dance in My Red Pajamas (HarperCollins, 1982) or Amy Hest's Weekend Girl (Morrow, 1993; o.p.).-Jane Marino, Scarsdale Public Library, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.