Free Kid to Good Home

Free Kid to Good Home
Hiroshi Ito
Gecko Press

A new baby brother Daichan who looks like a potato, who cries the whole time and who demands a mother’s undivided attention does not impress our narrator sister. Far from it. She decides to run away and find a new home and a family who love and appreciate her and only her.

Coming upon a cardboard box gives her an idea: she writes Free Kid on the side, climbs in and waits for those perfect parents, contemplating her wonderful new life as people come and go. Her effort to attract attention don’t provide what she seeks so she continues her wait.

Soon along comes a dog; it joins her in the box as in turn does a cat,; both for reasons of their own are seeking new homes.

Shifting their pitch to the outside of the railway station they each put on their best face and wait. Up comes a turtle and that too joins the waiting home-seekers. One by one the animals are taken until only the little girl remains.

After what feels like a very long time along come two people searching for a ‘perfect sister for – guess who …

An absolute delight: the deadpan humour works really well and I suspect many older siblings will relate to the narrator’s situation. The author’s slightly quirky line drawings with pops of red complement the telling well: the facial expressions of the characters – human and animal – are splendid and those of the narrator really convey her mounting frustration as she waits.

This is a great read aloud story but equally, it’s ideal for new solo readers.

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