Before I Leave by Jessixa Bagley

Before I Leave by Jessixa Bagley

Before I Leave by Jessixa Bagley (InfoSoup)

The author of Boats for Papa returns with another poignant picture book. Hedgehog’s family is moving away. They are packing boxes and getting ready to leave. Hedgehog and her best friend Anteater decide to spend one last time playing together. They act as if nothing is changing at all, playing on the swings, heading out in the boat, sharing ice cream and enjoying their forts. Hedgehog is scared to leave and saying goodbye is very sad. But once she reaches her new home, Anteater is still right there in her memories.

Bagley has an incredible way with telling touching stories. Her deftness with these tender moments is all about the balance of emotion with not overplaying it into sentimentality. In this picture book, she balances the angst of moving with the idea that best friends can survive moving apart. While there is real emotion in leaving there is also a light of hope at the end that is so beautifully timed that it shines.

Bagley’s animal characters are pure bundles of personality, demonstrating emotions clearly, sometimes sulking and sad and other times bouncing in happiness. Her world is filled with color and her illustrations range from pages filled with details to smaller discreet moments. The interplay between the two work very well as the characters form memories with one another.

A lovely book about moving away from a best friend, this book handles the subject with gentleness and pure heart. Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Roaring Brook Press.

This Week’s Tweets, Pins & Tumbls

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I think are cool:

Professional Library Literature :


5 Big Reasons to Continue to Read to Your ‘Big’ Kids

Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit gets his own 50p coin – and he didn’t have to steal it

Best Princess Books for All Ages

Celebrating a legendary kids’ book illustrator – The Boston Globe

Children’s books for Muslims are great idea, author says

It Took Dr. Seuss a Year to Write ‘The Cat in the Hat’—and It Changed Kids’ Lit Forever

A name speaks volumes for these children’s books:

Scholastic and We Need Diverse Books announce an expanded partnership! | On Our Minds  

Simon & Schuster Launching an Imprint for Muslim Children’s Books – World Religion News

Why are so many children’s fantasy books adapted as films?


16 Hilarious Signs That Prove Libraries Are the Greatest

Dennis Walcott, Former Schools Chancellor, Is Named C.E.O. of Queens Library

MIT’s Future of the Library: Encouraging Social Knowledge-Building

San Francisco Public Library hosts drag queen story hour for children

Snark, Sarcasm, and Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarians » Public Libraries Online

girl with books:


Angus, Thongs author Louise Rennison dies – BBC News

This Book Gives Native Girls The Tools To Seek Help After Getting Raped