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Away

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3.62  ·  Rating details ·  373 ratings  ·  102 reviews
Love shines through in the sticky notes shared between a mother and daughter in this picture book about making time for family in the midst of our busy lives.

Between work and school, homework and housework, a mother and daughter don’t always get to spend as much time together as they’d like. Add to that a little girl’s fears about leaving home for the first time, and the n
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 11th 2017 by Groundwood Books
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Average rating 3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  373 ratings  ·  102 reviews


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Dave Schaafsma
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
A picturebook story about a (busy) single mom (okay, can we imagine any single mom as not busy?) and a (biracial) child who is preparing to go to sleep-away camp for the very first time. And is not really sure she wants to go. The really unique aspect of this story is that it is told entirely in post-it notes, in an exchange between them. That narrative difference in a picturebook is basically worth your taking a look at it, since it makes the narrative a little challenging, worth talking about ...more
Dolly
May 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Sweet tale about a young girl who is anxious about going to summer camp. She and her mother communicate via post-it notes regarding the subject.

The ink and watercolor illustrations are nicely detailed and complemented the narrative well. The fact that the story portrays a multiracial, single-parent family is incidental, and I love that it is completely natural and not even mentioned.

I was torn about the unique way that this story flowed. The reader can see that the family spends time together,
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Kendra
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Won this lovely thing in a Goodreads giveaway and I couldn't be happier. A gorgeous story told through post-it notes about a mother and daughter. I've newly discovered Qin Leng's illustrations and I'm so in love with them. ...more
paula
The ONLY problem I have with this sweet, loving book about a brown boy and his white single mom preparing for sleepaway camp is a couple of kludgey midsentence text breaks between the Post-Its they use to communicate. Literally. Everything else is PERFECT.
Danielle
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to Danielle by: Dolly
This is cute, though I don't really remember why I added it. It's a sweet story between a mom and her daughter about summer camp - there isn't really much more to say. Definitely topical for the season. ...more
Mary
Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A child and his/her mother correspond mostly in sticky notes, and we see as the child prepares to go to sleep-away camp. Beautiful water-color illustrations and a unique narrative style make this book stand out from others in its field.
Margaux
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wow those illustrations.

A child goes to sleep away camp for the first time. Letters to mom are told in sticky-notes, with memories shared of mom's time at sleep away camp too!
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Kristina Jean Lareau
With dynamic watercolors that tell the story of the busy life of an only child and a single mom, and handwritten post-it notes that extend the visual story and add a layer of the child's anxiety about going to camp, this picturebook is fresh, sweet and a charming read. ...more
Darcie Saunier
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
I guess I may be in the minority here, but to me, this was just SO sad. A mom and child corresponding by Post-It Notes? Never be too busy to talk to your child face to face. They grow up so fast.
Amara
Received as an ARC from House of Anansi Press & Groundwood Books.

Away is so subtle. Told strictly through notes left on Post-Its, the fears of the daughter and reassurances from the mother are so heart-tugging. The cute watercolour illustrations are an added subtlety.
Barbara
Lovely ink and watercolor illustrations that beg readers to take a second look complement a sweet and relatable story from Canada about the fears a girl has about leaving home for summer camp. While both are busy, especially the mother, and they don't always have time to talk things out, they still manage to communicate through a series of sticky notes they leave for one another. (Ah, yes, communication in the modern age!) As the story develops, told through those images and those notes, readers ...more
Sheri
Jul 15, 2017 rated it liked it
This picture book has a whole new structure from others I have read. The text is all in post it notes on walls, appliances, calendar, etc. move the story along. Mother communicating with child who is going to a sleepaway camp for a week. There is a note later in the story that makes me think the child may be using a hearing aid and that is the reason for the post it notes. Interesting story and very heartwarming at the end.
Lindsey
Apr 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Beautiful but not a great read aloud.
Storytime With Stephanie
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Do you know someone who is heading out to sleepover camp for the first time this summer? You must go out and get your hands on a copy of the beautiful Away by Emil Sher and Qin Leng, illustrator. This book immediately caught my eye sitting on top of the library book shelf for its beautiful cover illustrations. When I opened it up, I was not disappointed as the story is equally as beautiful as the illustrations.
In this irreverent picture book, Sher and Leng tell the story of the apprehension, ner
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Ben Truong
Oct 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Away is a children's picture book written by Emil Sher and illustrated by Qin Leng, which is a book about a girl and her mother, as the little girl is getting ready for sleep-away camp for the first time.

Sher's text is rather simple and straightforward. It is told in an ingenious manner via a series of post-its – a modern equivalent to the epistle novel told in children picture format. Leng's illustrations are wonderful depicted, rather reminiscent of watercolors.

The premise of the book is rathe
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Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Sher, Emil Away, illustrated by Qin Leng. PICTURE BOOK. Groundwood Books, 2017. $19.

A busy little girl and her mother communicate through love and post-it notes. The little girl is anxious about going to sleepaway camp. Then a visit from her grandmother reveals something about her mother’s own history with camp – a little something that gives her the courage to go and build her own memories.

Leng’s watercolor illustrations are a fitting compliment to Sher’s sparse, but telling narrative. A great
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Olivia S
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"I bought you bug spray. Bring homework to laundromat. I quiz. You fold."

This story is about an exchange of post-it notes between a mom and a kid who is getting ready to go away to sleepover camp for the first time. It's a cute storyline, but what I really love about this book is the picture it creates of life between this mom and kid and cat and grandmother. I love the everyday diversity in this book. The mom looks white, the kid (who is described in blurbs as a girl, but I don't see any obvio
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Gretchen
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classroom-use
This book has a very unique idea. The only words used in the book are written on post it notes that the mother and daughter exchange throughout the story because they are usually too busy to actually connect. I'm sure it is an idea that many children can relate to with at least one of their parents. The story takes place a few weeks before Skip is supposed to go away to camp, which is not something she's looking forward to, at all. Through the pictures and the sparse words, you need to infer so ...more
Melissa Mcavoy
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture, 2nd, 1st, 2017
A busy mom and child communicate via sticky notes, leading up to the child’s departure for sleep away camp. This is a sweet story, with lovely watercolor wash illustrations that reveal the affection among child, parent, pets and visiting grandmother. My reservations are two: the sticky notes will be hard for children to read and are difficult for adult readers to read fluently, akin to the difficulty reading aloud a graphic novel and I fear this is a story that appeals more to adults than kids. ...more
Nadia L. Hohn
Dec 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love the illustrations in this book. Qin Leng is certainly showing her illlustration muscle and I love the motion in this watercolour (?) and ink work. This is not a traditional picture book in which author Emil Sher tells the story in notes between child and parent. I always wonder how the author comes up with this concept. Do they write the book in bullet points? Away is the type of book one may wish to read twice to ensure that nothing was missed. I also couldn’t tell because mom and child ...more
Lynn
The description says it is a girl, but the small hints made me think Skip is a boy (I know a lot of folks have unusual names these days, but I only know male "Skips" - at least so far).
The beginning has a bit of suspense and requires reading closely for detail to find out why and where Skip is going. Take note of the calendar events that includes 'hearing aid battery' and allow young readers infer the reason for all the note-writing.
Light lines of illustrations (done in ink and watercolor) supp
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Tina Fazenbaker
Dec 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
This is a sweet book about a mother and child that communicate everything through sticky notes because they hardly ever see each other. The child's notes seem mostly unhappy, partially because of circumstances and I think it partially because that is the way he has to communicate.

I like that the book can be relatable to some children whose parents may have busy lives. I wish it would have had a happier ending, the book seemed heavy all throughout.

I would use this book in hopes that a child woul
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Starla Nichols
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
lovely, beautiful book about a child heading to summer camp and her fears of leaving her mother. The mother is understanding and positive, keeping an open line of communication with the child and reassuring her that she will have a great time. The grandparents come to visit and help the child with this new event. The illustrations are beautiful and lively. This is a wonderful book to read with your children, especially if they are about to go away from home for some time.
Ed
Jul 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lovely illustrations, and a charming story. It reminds me of when my daughter was 5, and getting ready for kindergarten. She spent the last two weeks of summer worried sick that she wouldn't make any friends in her new school. Every day, it was "do I have to go to kindergarten?" What if I don't like it. Then the first day of school arrives, and when she comes home from school, she spend the next several hours telling us how great it was, and how many new friends she had made, etc... ...more
Claudia Sanchez
Sep 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2018, kid-lit
Even though I tend to display my cynicism and general screw-the-world attitude like a badge of honor in the "real world". I am a soft and fuzzy person. I am so squishy that a picture book, that was probably not written for anything other than pleasant enjoyment, made me a bit emotional because of all the adorable.

Soooo... yeah I thought this was pretty to look at and adorable to read. It was clever, sweet and had me looking for details. I loved it.
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Aleria
This story was so cute, it put a smile on my face.
Mainly because Sticky Notes were used~ I love using stick notes for stuff! So the story being told through that method was very fun & different from the normal.
And I get how this kid feels. But in the end, we're all nervous & scared to go away to camp.

But once you get there it's all fun & laughs. :)


:::(Reading Times: 7:34pm to 7:38pm):::
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Samantha
Told in post-it notes, readers learn that summer camp is coming and a certain camper does not want to go. Mom is ever present to reassure that everything will be okay, but when Grandma comes to visit a certain camper gets a glimpse of past Mom who shared many of the same feelings about sleepaway camp.

Clever storytelling accompanied by lovely watercolor artwork. PreK-2.
Viviane Elbee
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a sweet book about a young girl's fears of overnight camp. The fun twist is that the girl and her mother write each other lots of sticky notes. It's cute.

I loved the watercolor illustrations too.

Kids enjoyed the book but they were initially worried it would be a sad book based on the cover and title. It isn't the least bit sad.
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Lizzie
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Sleep away camp can be a scary proposition for kids. Told through post it notes, this story's narrative structure is unique and maybe confusing for beginning readers. I would have to try it out with young ones to see if it works. The ink and watercolor illustrations heighten the tender and chaotic life of this family. ...more
Desiree
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A mother and daughter communicate through post-it notes about an upcoming summer camp adventure. Skip doesn't want to go! She needs to make sure her pet won't be lonely, and that she can play with her best friend eli, and she only wants to stay for one night. Great story about separation anxiety. Skip learns that everyone is nervous the first time they go away, even her mother. ...more
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