First two ALFIE reviews!

Thanks to Publisher's Weekly and School Library Journal for saying such nice things about little Alfie!

From Publisher's Weekly:

Alfie Runs Away
Kenneth M. Cadow, illus. by Lauren Castillo
FSG/Foster, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-30202-3

"Cadow debuts with a perceptively written story about a power struggle between a mother and her small son. Alfie's mother proposes to give away his favorite red shoes--they're too small--and he responds by announcing that he's running away. The conflict unfolds in slow motion: Alfie's rebellion doesn't involve yelling or tears, and his mother honors his feelings without backing down. "May I give you a hug?" she asks, as he prepares to leave. "You may let me keep my shoes," says Alfie stiffly. "I will put a hug in your bag," she replies. Castillo's (What Happens on Wednesdays) spreads, comfortingly rendered in muted colors, are just right for Cadow's even-tempered narration. The figures are edged with soft black lines, echoing the sense that Alfie is surrounded by secure boundaries. When Alfie discovers, on his blanket out in the backyard, that his red shoes fit his teddy bear ("Those shoes will never get too small for you," he reassures Buddy Bear), readers will feel the value of the thinking Alfie's done for himself. A fine first outing for Cadow." Ages 4–8. (May)


From School Library Journal:

"K-Gr 2–There are several things Alfie doesn’t like about living in his household, but when his mom decides to give away his favorite too-small shoes, he’s had enough. “I’m going to run away,” he declares. His very accommodating mother helps him pack for the journey: flashlight, batteries, water bottle, snacks, pillow, blanket, stuffed bear, and books. When he gets as far as the backyard, however, the pack is so heavy that he empties everything out and has a picnic. And just when Alfie discovers a way to avoid parting with his shoes forever, his mom comes running with a sorely missed hug. Endpapers feature broad outline drawings of Alfie’s treasures, color visible only on his beloved red shoes. The mixed-media illustrations are large and heavily outlined in black. They depict a very determined child, hair sticking up, hands on hips, and foot tapping as he makes his ominous announcement. He prances out of the house while Mom calmly looks on, his bravado dampening only when he begins to realize what he has left behind. Youngsters will enjoy hearing the story of Alfie’s short-lived adventure along with that of another small runaway in Elissa Haden Guest’s Harriet’s Had Enough! (Candlewick, 2009)."–Marianne Saccardi, formerly at Norwalk Community College, CT