Author: Jeanna Ganas
Illustrator: Santhya Shenbagam
Independently Published (2019)
Age Range: Preschool to 12 Years
Grade Level: Preschool/Elementary
Boo, the hamster, was just a regular classroom pet until he escaped from his cage. Join Boo on his journey as he explores the wondrous places within his school, and through perseverance, ultimately discovers that there is no place like home.
Based on a true story, “Boo” tells the tale of a classroom hamster who goes on an adventure one night after the teachers and students go home. Boo finds traveling around the school to be a joyous time of exploration and discovery, but he soon misses the familiarity and comforts of his cage and his classroom. Will he ever find his way back?
Boo is a little darling kids will fall in love with! I love how the author promotes happiness and gratitude through Boo’s charming character. He has a small cage with a limited view of the world, yet he is positive and joyful at all times. It’s so important to instill in children the ability to be content with who you are and what you have, rather than focusing on what you are not and what you don’t have. This message comes across clearly to adults – the kids will just enjoy the story – best way to teach!
Boo also displays a sense of adventure when provided an opportunity to explore the world beyond his cage. As I was reading the passage below my mind actually filled with the sights and sounds of kids in the background saying, “Go Boo” and encouraging him to investigate.
“Boo peeked out of the empty space where his twisty tube used to sit.
Then he crawled down to the floor to go explore a little bit.
He scampered to the corner where he found a tiny crack.
Should he go inside?
Would he ever find his way back?”
Seriously, can’t you just imagine a room full of little ones listening to this fun adventure? As Boo travels all over the school he delights in his discoveries. But soon, he is tired and wants to go home. At this point there is a little trepidation and separation anxiety which kids will be able to relate to if they have ever been separated from their familiar surroundings. The kids are sad that Boo is gone, and they inadvertently provide Boo with the resources he needs to find his way back to the classroom.
The story is told in rhyme, but the text is presented in sentence structure format which doesn’t always provide the natural breaks for recitation as using a stanza-by-stanza format would. Still, the meaning behind the story is crystal clear and it’s an amazing tale.
In addition, the illustrations are FABULOUS! The bright colors will appeal to kids of all ages and the simplicity of the characters are irresistible and playfully satisfying. Boo is a cutie and the kids are just adorable. “Boo” hits it out of the park with extraordinary illustrations!
I highly recommend “Boo” as a fun adventure for preschool and early elementary aged students. Congratulations to Jeanna Ganas on a delightful picture book debut!
About the Author
Learn more about Jeanna Ganas at https://www.jeannaganas.com/
I obtained a copy of this book to review from the author in exchange for an honest review. Need a picture book review? Contact me!