A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows different animals, a butterfly, and a snail in a woodland, riverside environment.
Even though "new can be scary, kindness is stronger than fear." Sometimes folks are afraid of anyone who's new or different. When someone becomes a friend, it can fel like you've known that person forever.
Positive Role Models
Jitterbug the chipmunk is scared of someone new at first, but then apologizes for turning him away, asks him to stay. The other creatures help Jitterbug understand that they were once the Someone New, too.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Someone New is by author Jill Twiss and illustrator EG Keller, the team that created Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents: A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo. It tells the story of a chipmunk who isn't too happy when a snail arrives after a flood wiped out his garden, hoping to make his new home in the forest with the chipmunk and her animal friends. The chipmunk eventually comes around, after her friends explain that they were once new to their forest and river, too. It's a gentle fable that echoes the real-world immigration debate and teaches the values of kindness, empathy, and inclusion. It's also a good story for anyone who's ever felt like an outsider trying to fit in at a new new school or with a group of established friends.
Is It Any Good?
This cute, warm animal story works as both a friendship tale and a kid-friendly mirror of the immigration debate. It shows why someone might come to make a home in a new place (because he no longer felt safe in his old home) and how folks can be scared of someone who's different coming into their community. That may sound heavy-handed, but author Jill Twiss has a light touch in the storytelling. And EG Keller's watercolor-and-ink illustrations sweep the reader along, with adorable woodland creatures loaded with personality. Even if a reader misses the allusion to immigration, it's a powerful, engaging tale of empathy and kindness.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.