Leaving home and traveling to a whole new place is overwhelming, so it’s good to have a beloved toy who can help express how you feel.
Ella’s best friend, Monkey, doesn’t like good-bye hugs. He doesn’t want to say good-bye to Oma. And he doesn’t want to move away forever. Neither does Ella. But Papa is waiting for them in New York. So Ella and Monkey must board the ship with Mama and leave their old home in Holland for their new home in America. Along the way, there is fish for dinner (Monkey hates fish), a playroom full of new kids (Monkey doesn’t like strangers), and stormy seas that leave everyone feeling sick. Can Ella and Monkey find a way to weather the storm? Will they ever feel at home again? This sweetly illustrated picture book will appeal to anyone who has left home behind — and to children who find creative ways to share their emotions.
Based on the author’s childhood experiences when her own family emigrated from the Netherlands, this story of a child working through her frustrations and adjusting to change with help from a toy is warm and comforting…A warm tale of catharsis and acceptance. —Kirkus Reviews
The book reflects Boon’s childhood experience of leaving the Netherlands and traveling to America on a ship that encountered a hurricane. She sensitively portrays a child who struggles with loss but copes by expressing herself through art and by transferring her emotions to Monkey and then comforting him. A satisfying picture book telling one immigrant’s story. —Booklist Online