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Rutabaga Boo!

Mom isn’t always nearby…but she’s never too far away.

Through their “Marco Polo”–inspired back-and-forth of “Rutabaga?” and “Boo!,” a mother and son spend a day full of fun. Whether they’re bouncing out of bed, playing in the park, or keeping in touch while Mom is on a trip, one constant is the comforting reassurance that even when they’re physically apart, they’re always connected by the love they share.


"Whenever Bardhan-Quallen’s young protagonist says “Rutabaga” to his mother, she responds with “Boo!” It’s a multipurpose call-and-response game that can be a wake-up call, greeting, or backdrop to a game of hide-and-seek. But primarily it serves to ameliorate the boy’s separation anxieties...a lovely tribute to the power of a silly shared catchphrase and the enormous reassurance that routine and ritual offer children.... Lined in gracefully sketched pencil, Adamson’s (Bedtime Monster) soft, sunny watercolors have a striking acuity—readers will know exactly how the boy feels when there’s a lag time before he hears “Boo.”"
— Publishers Weekly, January 2017

"Primarily using a simple two-word exchange throughout, this depicts the special relationship of a little boy and his mother.... Watercolor-and-pencil illustrations, rife with childlike touches, feature settings and activities that will be familiar to many children...the mother and son's mutual affection is evident throughout, and adults and children will appreciate the concept and comforts of sharing a unique language and routine."
— Booklist, February 2017

*STARRED REVIEW* "A mother and son's call-and-response tradition keeps them linked even when they aren't together. It's the illustrations that do the heavy lifting in this tale since the text consists of the two titular words and a final "I always love you" at bedtime, but those pictures speak volumes.... Adamson's watercolor-and-pencil illustrations celebrate the bond between mother and child, and she doesn't dwell on the separation, showing that the boy can still have fun even though the two are apart.... A joyous celebration of a wonderful bond."
— Kirkus Reviews, March 2017, starred review

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