I was so happy that my library got this book, I believe it is their first English picture book for this author/illustrator, I definitely hadn’t expected to see it there.
This book was lovely, and very much on point for this time with refugees flooding in and how people think about them. We should give them a chance, we shouldn’t judge them on what we hear around us, we shouldn’t do what the animals in this book do. We should be open to new people.
I loved (is that the right word?) how the author/illustrator shows us how the animals went from happy (the first ones to hear the news about the rats) to distrusting and angry (the last animals). It wasn’t a sudden change, with each floor the opinions of the group changed. I was frankly pretty shocked to see people, or should I say animals, get swept up in the opinions (and mood) from the other animals the lower they got. Some got angry as well, but a few even got afraid. 🙁 Plus I was saddened they had such harsh opinions on someone they didn’t know. Just basing it on what a few people from that animal group probably have done. Assuming. Not giving those animals a chance to introduce themselves yet.
I was not surprised by the ending, but I did have a laugh. Oh my, those animals must feel so embarrassed. That is what you get for assuming. But I am happy to see that last illustrations, what the animals did for those new neighbours. I hope they all become best friends and have some great parties (with cake of course).
The art, well, it is Sarah McIntyre. I just LOVE her art.
All in all, a great picture book, and I am delighted I had the chance to read it.