The Welcome Wagon
When curious young bear Cooper Cub notices a new family moving to town, he jumps on his scooter and sets off on a journey through Cubby Hill, assembling his best friends to welcome the newcomers. They can’t help but wonder what the new family will be like. What if they don’t like flowers or play video games? What if they’re not like anyone who’s ever lived in town? In this sweet story all about welcoming new people and making new friends, Cori Doerrfeld brings the world of Cubby Hill to life with humor, charm, and a whole lot of warmth.
What I loved: The messaging is really clear here. While it might be scary to meet new people, they might be something really neat, able to teach or show you new things and really fun to get to know. The illustrations are really adorable with plenty of details and cute animals throughout. There are also some valuable depictions of background characters who are disabled or dressed in religious garb (a character is wearing a hijab on one page) that is a nice touch (even though none of the main characters are).
What left me wanting more: Cooper and Bobbi who are riding on the scooter are not wearing helmets. This is juxtaposed to others on bikes who are wearing helmets and pronounced when they get into a minor accident. As a children's book, I would love to see the main characters being safe! The font is also really tiny, so it is difficult to read aloud. It also bounces between regular text and speech bubbles, which reads a little odd at times.
As a warning, when they arrive at the new people's house, there is an "alien" type figure that is scary for sensitive children. If you have a child who gets nervous around scary things, you may want to take precautions.
Final verdict: Overall, this is a cute picture book about the fun of making new friends and meeting new people.