Joone is a free-spirited preschooler who shares what appears to be a pleasantly pastoral life with her grandfather and a pet turtle named Dr. Chin in this quirky debut.
The brisk and breezy depiction of a single summer day features familiar activities, unusual settings and a cheerfully childlike first-person narration. Joone’s individuality is obvious from the first page, where she notes that she spells her name with “a smiley face.” She addresses readers directly, telling them that she lives in a yurt with her grandfather and that she likes ice cream sandwiches and swimming. Moon’s bright and colorful illustrations provide additional details and amplify the gentle humor. Joone’s red wagon full of rocks, for example, turns out to be the basis for a clever way to make the steps navigable for Dr. Chin, and her generous impulse to leave an ice cream sandwich for the “mail lady” seems destined to turn out not exactly as she plans. The artless charm of the pictures is a perfect match for Joone’s endearing personality. Not much really happens, but it’s still likely that listeners will request repeat readings to pore over the details of Joone’s unusual home and enjoy her creative approach to life.
Joone could be a contemporary, country-dwelling cousin to Eloise: another precocious, articulate and turtle-loving child with charm to spare. (Picture book. 3-6)