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This endearing picture book about making the most of any situation is also a heartfelt and meaningful portrait of houselessness that’s just right for young children.
Sometimes it’s hard to stay positive: when you live in an old school bus instead of a normal house; when you have mostly just bread and ketchup to eat; and especially when you have to go to a new school where all the other kids already have friends. But the sweet and creative boy in this story discovers that he can do things he never thought possible, by using the skills his parents have taught him: imagining . . . and trying . . . and finding a way to look on the bright side.
This honest, accessible, and compassionate story is based on the author’s own childhood. Its message about resourcefulness and courage will resonate with every reader.
About the Author
Chad Otis received his BFA in design from the University of Washington and then worked with Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Disney, Mattel, Hasbro, Nintendo, and DreamWorks for over twenty years as an animator, illustrator, and creative director. He now devotes himself to writing and illustrating children’s books. He lives with his wife in Boise, Idaho.
★ "The author, whose experiences mirror the character’s, honestly acknowledges the physical and emotional difficulties of the family’s situation while still leaving room for joy and avoids evoking feelings of pity by granting full agency to the sympathetic lead. The art is blocky and simple, with great use of repetition and subtle but powerful facial expressions . . . An honest yet uplifting and deeply empathetic child’s-eye view of houselessness." —Kirkus, starred review
★ "Lively multimedia illustrations colorfully combine pencil, ink, collected textures, and digital paint to contribute subtle but powerful details that expand on the text . . . A sensitive story infused with optimism and perseverance, this will encourage wholesome conversation with children of all socioeconomic backgrounds; it’s an essential purchase." —School Libray Journal, starred review
"When the child eventually enters school, they quickly run afoul of classroom rules and find themselves friendless, but they also find that they possess imagination, resilience, and the power to define 'the bright side' for themselves . . . Digitally enhanced, watercolor-textured pencil and ink drawings keep the mood relatively light throughout this reportorial, child’s-eye view of changing circumstances and financial precarity." —Publishers Weekly