Oh No, the Aunts Are Here

Chronicle. May 2023. 40p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781797207940.
K-Gr 2–The aunts have officially arrived. Carting fanny packs, hand sanitizer, lip balm, and lotion, four effervescent members of the family descend on their niece’s house and smother her with love and affection. Though chaos reigns in their presence, moments of true connection make the visit pleasantly memorable, and the aunts depart just in time for the family’s next guests to arrive. Anyone who has ever hosted several high energy family members at once will recognize the intensity that is pervasive throughout. Clever use of lines of sight, repetitive phrases, and varying font gives the story a frantic feeling, especially since the book is told from the perspective of a young niece most overwhelmed by the visit. Rhythm and onomatopoeia are incorporated at opportune moments within the narrative, which gives the book a playful quality, particularly when read aloud. Though dialogue is not a primary feature, word bubbles are occasionally used to give the aunts distinct voices. Watercolor illustrations form the backdrop of the story, and they work in tandem with the book to enhance the frenzy of the aunts’ visit. Each page includes a great deal of detail, as well, which will invite readers to investigate the book more closely with each read.
VERDICT This is a high-energy picture book that will appeal to families with extended relatives who are larger than life.

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