Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews



Norton Juster
Illustrator:  G. Brian Karas 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Random House, 2011   ISBN: 978-0375867651

A boy and his family have just moved to a new house. The boy is not in the least bit pleased because no one asked him if he wanted to move. Now he has to live in a house that won’t feel like home, get used to a new neighborhood, go to a new school, and make new friends. The house and school part is bad enough, but making friends is going to be especially hard.

   The boy’s mother tries to cheer him up, telling him to “give it a chance” and that “everything is going to be fine.” The boy does not think that everything is going to be fine at all, but when his mother suggests that he should go for a walk he does so.

   When he gets to the end of the block, the boy pauses and then he shouts “Neville.” Soon he is joined by another boy who suggests that he needs to shout louder. They shout together, but not together enough, which is what another child, a girl, points out. With her conducting, they all shout “NEVILLE” at the same time. It isn’t long before more kids are come over to join in the shouting. They ask the boy about Neville. “Is he new?” they say. The boy then goes on to answer the questions that the children ask him about Neville. They sit together and talk about him. They even go out looking for this new kid whom almost no one knows.

   In this wonderful book readers will get more and more interested to find out who Neville is, and they will start to notice that something pretty amazing is going on with the boy and all these children that he is meeting. Children will be delighted with the ending, which is when they find out that perhaps the boy who just moved to the new neighborhood is going to be all right after all.