Happy New Year from Colleen’s Cozy Book Corner! It’s January, YAY! Everyone who loves January, raise your hand! Anyone?
I always feel pretty buoyant on January 1st. Probably because of the potential of what the new year will offer and the adventures around the corner! Newness is special and exciting! So, for the first month of this brand-new year, I started considering the books we have here at PVB that are about something new. New friends, new boots, new skates, new dogs, new situations galore! We have so many books on this subject to choose from. Out of them all, I’ve selected A New Home for Kwan by Trina Lawrence and illustrated by Ria Maria Lee for this month’s Cozy Corner review. Grab some cocoa, cozy up, and join in!
In this story, Kwan does not share these positive and promising feelings of newness. Just the opposite, in fact! Kwan and his mother have moved to a new apartment in a new neighborhood, and Kwan is mentally unravelling. As he unpacks his things and looks around, a sense of sorrow overwhelms him. Kwan ruminates over all he has lost by the move, unable to see what he might potentially gain. And let’s face it, who can blame him? The flip side of the excitement of newness is the discomfort that comes with leaving the familiar behind. Newness is not always easy. Sometimes it requires courage to face what’s around the corner. It’s easy to see why Kwan is so sad. For all the new things ahead of him, just as many precious things have been left behind. Kwan is instantly a sympathetic character. Readers can relate. All this by page 4!
Luckily for Kwan, a new neighbor arrives to provide some perspective. Only then does Kwan’s gloom begin to dissipate. A pizza shop AND basketball courts right down the street? Thanks to his new friend, Kwan now has new eyes through which to see his new home. A new attitude follows fast. Maybe this new neighborhood won’t be so bad after all. Sadness and loneliness, while valid and real, will not officiate his new life. When Kwan realizes this, the story comes to its full expression. This book also beautifully illustrates the gift of having a good friend to guide you through a rough patch.
This story is from one of our newest collections here at Pioneer Valley Books, the You and Me series. A New Home for Kwan is found in Set 2.
Other books at Pioneer Valley Books about new beginnings include:
A New House for Clarence
A New Dog
New Boots for Quack
Jack’s New Skates
A New Leader for the Troop
A New Friend at the Beach
Cambodian New Year