Arto's Big Move

By Monica Arnaldo

From 4 to 7 | 40 pages

Arto has lived his whole life in the snowy, cold North, and six years is a long time. When his mom gets a new job and the family prepares to spend a year in the South, Arto is not happy at all. He decides that he's just going to act as if he never moved. In the new Southern landscape of prickly plants, strange birds and a big, hot sun, Arto stubbornly dons his winter uniform of boots, mittens, coat, and hat, day after day. It's worth the stuffy, sweaty, overheated feeling if he can pretend he's still in the North.

But when Arto makes a new friend, Ana, he slowly sheds his layers and discovers that it's not such a bad idea to adapt to your surroundings. When his year in the South is over, Arto realizes there is a way to cope with leaving while keeping the memory of his Southern adventure alive. A relatable story with a memorable character, Arto's Big Move uses a gentle touch to convey an important message about adapting to change.

"Arnaldo's tale of unwelcome feelings and the importance of friendship is nicely paced and gracefully written, and her expressive, mixed-media paintings neatly evoke Arto's journey. Quietly effective."
- Kirkus Reviews
"A great metaphor for opening up to change and new friendship ... This story will resonate with many children, especially those who have experienced a move." - School Library Journal
"The fairly lengthy text gives the serious topic its due, while the pencil, watercolor, acrylic, and graphite illustrations convey the beauty of both North and South locales. The emphasis on Arto's clothing is a wonderfully subtle and clever way of depicting his emotional defenses and, as he loses his layers, how he is coming to adjust." - Booklist
"Bright, cheerful illustrations aptly portray the charms of both northern and southern locations. Facial expressions effectively emphasize Arto's feelings. This would be equally effective in one-on-one or group situations, and could help ease transitions for transient students." - Library Media Connection
"So much more than a typical book about adapting to a new situation...The story's prose is beautifully detailed, and combined with Arto's own artwork, makes the story truly come alive." - Resource Links
"Strong in emotional impact, and sure to resonate with kids who struggle with change." - The National Reading Campaign
"A good book for young readers as it explores one of the many challenges of changes that children face; it shows them that, while change may be different, it can also be good." - Canadian Review of Materials
USBBY Outstanding International Books List, 2015
A Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Book for Kids and Teens, 2015

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