Cover Image: Comings and Goings

Comings and Goings

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Member Reviews

This was such a cute little book! I loved how we got to see both sides as they readied themselves for Alex's trip!
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Told in parallel timelines, this story describes a boy who is going to travel by himself to see his cousins who live far away.  The author alludes to the idea that they haven't seen each other in a long time and that there may be some culture shock.  But there is also a strong desire to make their young relative feel welcome and to include him in their traditions.

I think the illustrations were a unique blend of sketch and collage, and they really matched the quirky patchwork characters.  I found myself charmed by the excitement and nervousness that the characters portrayed.  I especially liked the author's note that this story was inspired by his own experiences.

This would be a fun read for a child who is traveling or anyone who has family that lives far away.
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This was a pretty book, with lovely illustrations and I think children would enjoy looking at the book, however the storyline might be a bit confusing as there is not a clear linear story. I think there was an opportunity here to discuss anxiety and think about coping strategies for children travelling alone however that never really happened,it was just noted that Alex was feeling nervous.
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This was such a sweet story about a little boy named Alex who will be travelling alone to spend some time with his extended family during the summer holidays. I loved the illustrations and I especially loved how the story described both Alex’s nervousness and excitement. It’s a lovely little book.
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This was a cute story about a family preparing for the arrival of a 6-year old relative to fly out for the summer (while counting down the days, making signs, getting things he'll enjoy) while also showing the boy preparing for the visit. It was very sweet and well illustrated.
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The parallel story tells about the upcoming arrival of Alex to visit his family in the South. Alex lives way up North. He is so excited to visit his family who lives way South. Each day, you see Alex preparing for his big trip to visit his family all by himself. At the same time Alex is preparing for his trip, you see his family's perspective being told simultaneously. They are eagerly awaiting his visit. This book is a great story that teaches perspective. I love that the experiences of all the family members are being told at the same time. In addition to the switching perspectives, the illustrations are soft and just beautiful!
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Oh my goodness. What can I say about this book? While reading it I had tears in my eyes and a pinch in my heart (like Alex waving goodbye to his parents). What a beautiful story celebrating the love of families separated by geographical distance. As an adult I am always seeking out books which reflect my own, and my child's experiences - something which was lacking in availability to me as a child. As I read this book I felt myself transported to a child, my beloved family in Egypt preparing for our arrival from England. The excited preparations, the planning of fun activities, the nervous joy and finally that beautiful moment of reunion. Now my son will experience those things with our family when we travel from Australia to Egypt and the UK. I see what some other reviewers say about the 'gift' element - but for me that is reflective of non Anglo cultures (which I assumed this was) and the gift giving joy associated with hosting guests and loved ones, particularly those that you do not see regularly. I loved this book so much. What a powerful contribution to children's literature and a wonderful representation of global families today!
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the arc of Comings and Goings by Ann and Manos Kontoleon.

This was a lovely book about a boy's first trip alone on an airline. The story follows the excitement and sadness that comes from families far apart missing each other and being excited for a visit.
This book was thoughtfully written and would definitely be an asset for children who may have loved ones who are now far away that they miss, it could also benefit a child who may be flying alone on an airplane for the first time.
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Parallel stories relate the preparations for Alex’s plane trip alone to visit extended family. Counting down with 4 days to go, Alex buys gifts and , packs his suitcase, while his grandparents, cousins and aunt and uncle build a treehouse and put together a train set in anticipation of the young boy’s visit. This could be a helpful book to read with young kids getting ready to travel, dealing with anxiety about the trip. Mixed media illustrations incorporating collage elements show interesting perspectives on the two groups as they prepare for Alex’s arrival.
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Love how the illustrator drew some pages from the perspective of the child. I love the think alouds! ;)
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This book has a nice concept, but the execution is lacking, especially for a picture book. The story revolves around a boy preparing to visit his extended family in another part of the world, and the point of view cuts between him and his various relatives on each page spread. There is a lot of text for a picture book audience, and it's hard to keep track of the different characters. Even though the mixed media illustrations are interesting, this isn't something that I would want to read aloud to children.

More significantly, the story involves a lot of chaos and repetitive elements without much resolution. There's a lot of flurry, and a lot of fairly meaningless conversations, without a big enough payoff to justify everything that happens. I think that this would have been more effective with a tighter focus on one or two main characters, and if the story had emphasized the solo plane ride or the boy's adventures with his relatives, instead of dragging out every detail of preparations for the visit.
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This is a nice story about a boy planning and looking forward to a trip, alone on a plane, to visit extended family. Alternate pages tell the story from the boy's perspective and the perspective of the various family members he will be visiting. 

I really liked the mixed media illustrations, though did find the photo head on a man near the end of the story a bit odd. This was the first time I noticed photo being used for someone's head and looking back, seems to only be the second time in the whole book (the first being a very small picture near the beginning that I hadn't seen and wouldn't have spotted if I hadn't been looking) which seemed quite strange but other than that, a nice story with great illustrations.
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The concept of everyone being excited and anxious for family visits is a good one, but I feel like it missed the mark when it comes to the target age group. There was a lot of chaos and not much resolution or ways for dealing with all of it. The illustrations were good.
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Thanks Star Bright Books and NetGalley for the book.
Comings and Goings was a story about a little boy's air trip to his family. The characters were realistic. Their excitement regarding the trip was palpable. The illustrations were neat and colourful. A quick fun read for children.
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I had high expectations for this book because we travel to another country south of us to visit the majority of our family as well. Although I love the concept, the story itself felt very drawn out and we quickly lost interest. The preparations for travel and for receiving visitors didn’t feel very realistic to me, and we travel annually to see family abroad. I would have preferred more text about how the child is feeling about the trip instead of what items need to be packed or what items he will receive as gifts upon arrival.
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Comings and Goings is a fun travel adventure picture book. Written by Anna Kontoleon and Manos Kontoleon, (Daughter- Father team) it is a heartwarming story connecting families living far apart.

Six-year-old Alex lives in the North with his parents and Snow, the dog. While his extended family lives in the South. The authors have narrated the story from different POVs–Alex’s and his extended families. On every page, little directions markings North and South highlight the POVs.
Alex is embarking on an adventure of his lifetime. He is travelling all by himself to visit his grandparents, uncle, aunt and cousins. He is quite excited, ticking dates on the calendar, packing his bags, and even making cards for his relatives.

On the other end, his grandparents, uncle, aunt and cousins are equally excited and are preparing for his arrival. They are busy getting presents for Alex, planning games, building a tree house and even buying his favorite fruits. The story ends at the airport with the entire family receiving Alex with an enormous banner and a warm hug.

The illustrations by Fotini Tikkou are really endearing and convey the feelings, anticipation and emotions clearly.
Younger readers may not be able to read the book independently, and might require help. It’s a delightful book to use as a Read Aloud material. Children in the 7-10 years age range would enjoy reading this book on their own.
Though the different POVs provide multiple aspects, it also adds to a bit of chaos. It is easy to miss the direction arrows, and children might get a little confused with identifying the speaker.

Comings and Goings feels like a travel journal with the map and engaging illustrations. Alex’s adventure is a story many children can identify with–the thrill of travel, the excitement of meeting relatives and spending time with them. It can also soothe children who might be anxious about air-travel.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I have shared the review on Goodreads and my blog -
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Review to come to blog/Goodreads on July 12th.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest book.

I saw this fun looking book (love how things are mirrored on the cover, if that makes sense) and just had to request it. I was curious about Alex and his family.

This book is split up in two. On the left we have the story from Alex POV, on the other we have one of the family members. While I do appreciate that this was done, and also a nice nudge to the cover which also shows dual POVs, it was confusing. As I was into Alex POV and we would switch to one of his family, and it definitely didn't help one of his family members is called Alexia. Haha. I think maybe it would have worked better if instead of having the WHOLE family talk on the right just pick one. That would still be a tad confusing, but less. Because now we have Alex, then one of the twins, then Alex, then the uncle, then Alex, then grandma or grandpa, then we have Alex, then we have the aunt, and so on. It also didn't help that the art is continued on the next page, you really don't think you will get two POVs. I just checked my copy again (read it on my phone yesterday) and apparently there are little things in the top/bottom to mark where we are now, but I feel those are either overlooked, or depending on the format just disappear all together. Given that I didn't seem them on my phone. 

But the story itself, in between the chaos and confusion, was fun. I did like seeing what Alex did to prepare for the big flight and the big vacation. We see him tick of the days, get packing, buy presents, and more. And on the other side we see his family do their best to have Alex have one of the best vacations ever. Uncle Mike wants to do all sorts of fun things so Alex will remember him, Sam and Tina got big plans. Everyone is eager and I was delighted that Alex had such a big family that cared for each other. 

I loved the ending (it was very sweet) and I was so proud of Alex to step into the plane by himself (of course, with someone to guide him, but I will still see it as travelling alone as none of his family is with him). Though I love the ending, I would have loved to see it expanded just a bit more. Maybe just a day of Alex vacation to finish it? 

The art was one of my favourite things of the book, it was such a nice style. 

All in all, despite being confused at times, I did enjoy the book!
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This would be a good book for a child before they go on an airplane for the first time. I love the illustrations and the style of the book.
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Six-year-old Alex is preparing for the adventure of a lifetime: he will fly on a plane by himself to visit his grandparents and cousins across the vast blue ocean. With four days left to go, many preparations must still be made on both sides. Gifts must be purchased, bags must be packed, and plans must be made. As the big moment inches closer, Alex marks off days on his calendar and his anticipation builds. Finally, he is escorted onto a large airplane by a kind flight attendant and is on his way to the warm and welcoming arms of his extended family.

Collage-based illustrations coupled with detailed drawings in colored pencils are the dynamic visual feature of this book and include primarily light-skinned characters spanning a range of ages. These images feel like a travel journal in their delivery and give the reader extensive material for viewing throughout the book. A brown paper world map appears at the very beginning of the book to provide perspective about the size of the Earth and the continents and oceans it contains. Each spread in the book is split into two parts, one depicting Alex’s preparations in the North and the other showing his extended family’s actions in the South. Tabs featuring an airplane and compass rose help orient readers to where the action is taking place and give a sense of movement to the story. 

The text is best suited to early elementary school-aged readers because of its length and small font size. Readers are more likely to be engaged with the illustrations than the text, but listening to the story aloud will be enjoyable, as well. Small paragraphs of text that include dialogue and description propel the narrative and deliver the story in bite-sized chunks.

Uniquely executed, this travel adventure is an exciting adventure for young readers. No matter where family lives in the world, readers will recognize the excitement and delight in traveling to reconnect after time apart. This is an enjoyable addition to libraries for elementary school-aged readers.
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The concept is fine. We are all excited to meet our relatives living somewhere else. It would have been more fun reading this one during the cold season.

The story might be confusing for kids. Because there's a lot of rushing here and there and the storyline not structured well for kids I feel. 

The art sequence seems repetitive and in no order. The colour combinations work fine.

The ending was good.

Thanks to the author, artist and the publisher for the advance reading copy.
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