From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1—Federica is a small girl with a big problem. She lives in a messy home with quirky parents too busy to clean. To escape all of the dirt, clutter, bugs, and vermin indoors, Federica visits a nearby park. The park inspires her to solve the problem. Bring the creatures who live at the park to her home to do what they do naturally—eat, chase, and lick. Initially, she brings in sheep and goats, graciously asking her father’s permission first, and he distractedly assents. Spider and dragonflies, toads and owls, and, lastly, raccoons follow Federica into her messy home, up the stairs, and into her bedroom. For the second a part of her plan, the girl asks her mother if the family, including her baby sibling, can picnic. As soon as the members of the family leave, the herd of creatures go to work, chomping up bugs, mice, and garbage; eating overgrown plants; and even cleaning the dishes with their tongues. When everyone gets home, the house is sparkling clean and, to the surprise of Mum and Dad, the helpful creatures are still there. They go back to the park, and Federica and her family visit them, but only after taking time on a daily basis to keep the house clean. Ritchie has created ink and computer rendered comiclike illustrations. The first two pages, a double illustration of a very messy family kitchen, perfectly set the mood for all the book. With goggle-eyed bugs and household items strewn about, children will enjoy pointing at items in the illustrations and naming them. A lot of conversational prose breaks up the longer passages and keeps the story engaging. VERDICT Children and caregivers are sure to savor this tale of a problem-solving girl; a strong choice for picture book shelves.—Mindy Hiatt, Salt Lake County Library Products and services


The loose ink-and-Adobe Photoshop illustrations are a riot, milking the absurdity for all it’s worth. … There’s A lot of yuck-factor silliness, and the penultimate spread, of the family uniting for “cleanup hour,” is very inviting. (Kirkus Reviews 2017-06-15)

Children and caregivers are sure to savor this tale of a problem-solving girl; a strong choice for picture book shelves. (School Library Journal 2017-08-01)

Scot Ritchie has created a win-win: Parents get a book that encourages their kids to unplug, go outside and pay attentions to their surroundings, kids get a story that doesn’t moralize or chastise them and everyone gets to read a book about funny anthropomorphic animals. (Globe and Mail 2017-10-13)

About P’ésk’a and the First Salmon Ceremony

“The combination of lively pictures and informative text makes this a winner for primary collections in school and public libraries. Recommended.” CM Magazine

“Ritchie successfully and engagingly balances storytelling with accurate history in this depiction of indigenous life in Canada 1,000 years ago.” Booklist

About Look Where We Live

“An excellent addition for the community shelf, this minimizes didacticism at the same time as encompassing many aspects of the topic that are missing from other entries.” Kirkus Reviews

See all Editorial Reviews
Federica’s busy family can’t keep their house clean! To get away from the buzzy, buggy mess, she escapes to the peaceful park where she can spend time with her animal friends…which gives her an idea. She brings home sheep and goats, spiders and dragonflies, a toad, an owl, and some raccoons. Then she takes her family to the park for a picnic, and at the same time as they’re gone, the animals chomp the overgrown grass in the backyard, eat the garbage and catch the pesky bugs overrunning the house. After a peaceful afternoon at the park, Federica’s family comes home to a clean house — and raccoons doing the dishes! Scot Ritchie’s warm art and original story bring a fresh perspective to the busy-family challenge of keeping the house clean, at the same time as featuring a clever and resourceful young girl who knows that, once in a while, letting nature back into our lives is the best answer.
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