Book Buzz: Yard Sale
Written by Eve Bunting, Illustrated by Lauren Castillo
Ages 5-10, Candlewick Press
With autumn here, the cooler days provide backdrops for many outdoor activities. On any given Saturday morning, you can find a yard sale either in your neighborhood or nearby. Have you ever wondered the reason for a yard sale? Is the family moving? Do they just want to move things out of their house?
Callie wanted to know why her family was having a yard sale. She just couldn’t figure it out. There were many people in her front yard looking at items for sale. Items that used to be in her house. They were buying the items! Her parents said that they were going to move to a small apartment and they needed to sell a bunch of their house furniture, lamps, yard work equipment and other things. There wasn’t enough room at the apartment.
Sara, a next door friend, asks why Callie and her family have to move. Callie isn’t sure except it has something to do with money.
A crisis arises when a man is loading Callie’s bike onto his truck. For Callie this is the last straw. It’s her bike and no one is going to take it! When a woman admires how cute Callie is and asks if she is for sale, an emotional threshold is crossed.
Eve Bunting’s prose come from a child’s perspective of an upheaval in a their normal life. Why do families move away from a place where a child calls home with their friends that they’ve know all their life? It’s a difficult concept for a youngster who knows nothing but the homey familiar surroundings of the neighborhood.
Lauren Castillo watercolors show a buzz of activity during the yard sale with just about everything the family owns out on the front lawn. Her loose drawing style invites the reader to explore the illustration for the familiar.
Yard Sale could be read to young children to explain circumstances sometimes beyond their control. The story can be used to open a conversation on the topic of change which often happens in a young family’s life.
Even though Callie is forced to come to terms with the reasons and emotional impact of moving away from the neighborhood, the story is resolved in a loving way.
Chuck Galey writes and illustrates picture books. Visit his website to see what he’s up to at www.chuckgaley.com.