Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Safe Return by Ashley Wheelok and Arwen Evens - Book Tour & Review

The Safe Return

 By Ashley Wheelok and Arwen Evens

Illustrated by Abigail Gray Swartz

April 16 – 19

  • Purchase link:
  • Goodreads link:
  • Genre:  Children’s picture book
  • Print length: 27 Pages
  • Age range: Baby – 12 years
  • Formats available for the Tour: pdf, mobi, epub and jpeg [sorry, no paperbacks]

About The Safe Return

 Face masks on or off? This e-book contains both versions. It’s two books in one. 

It’s a topsy-turvy world that children live in today, but the adventures must safely return. Face masks on or face masks off, this fast-paced book takes kids through the ups and downs of a balance bike ride with friends. A stuffed bunny is temporarily lost, but a community is found. No matter which way you read it, the book reinforces the joys and freedoms of childhood and advocates for a safe return to the fun. Print copies of this book flip over so that the book can be read either way.

Perfect for Covid-19 and to normalize the wearing of masks. Yet, this book will remain in your collection when the crisis has ended.

“A lovely, reassuring tale for children set during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.” – Kirkus Reviews

My Review
The Safe Return is a unique children's book that can be read one of two ways: with masks on or with masks off. The story is set during today's times, while Covid is still a thing. It follows a little girl and her dad as they return to some semblance or normalcy by enjoying a day outside on bikes (well, her dad is jogging alongside while she rides). She meets up with friends, and depending on which way you read, the children are either wearing masks or not, but the story does enforce social distancing regardless of masks. And when one child loses his stuffed bunny, the group of friends bands together to help find it, all while keeping safe so they can still have fun.
I thought the story was really nicely done. It's illustrated well, and while the text may be a bit small and harder to read for younger kids, older kids will find it to be a quick, easy read. 
I also liked that it can be read both ways, showcasing kids having fun outdoors without masks and with masks, depending on preference (especially since I'm sure some children (and adults) would rather see the normalcy of pre-covid times rather than what we're living now). 
Overall, I thought The Safe Return was a simple, yet unique children's book.
4 stars!

About the Authors:

Ashley is a writer and lawyer on the central coast of California. She loves books, especially children’s books, and began her book career as the then youngest editor-in-chief of her elementary school’s press. She dreams of marshmallows and witches.

Arwen is a PR executive. Her mission is to raise strong girls, which is important as she has three of them. She spends her commute embroidering elaborate gifts while dreaming up her next story. Arwen is a member of SCBWI.

Abigail Gray Swartz is a fine artist, muralist, and illustrator. Her work has appeared in The NY Times, countless magazines, and most notably, she painted the Women’s March cover for The New Yorker magazine (Feb 9, 2017 issue). Her cover went on to win several awards. Abigail is also the founder of City of Hidden Figures a national public art program that seeks to celebrate local hidden figures through murals, statues, and the renaming of streets while providing art opportunities and equal pay for female-identifying artists. Abigail earned her MFA from The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She lives in Maine with her young family and a handful of chickens, where she loves to garden, go swimming and breathe in the salty sea air.

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