Reece Hansen is missing two things: his father and his frog. His parents are newly separated, and his dad is now living in another city, fighting forest fires. Reece struggles to get used to daily life without him. When he loses his pet frog, Burgess, Reece puts posters up around the neighborhood. But frogs are difficult to find. It takes an unusual classmate, the boy who wears a bathrobe to school, to pull Reece's attention away from Burgess. Through his new friend and a camping trip with his mom, Reece learns that friends can come in human form and families are resilient even when things change.
"A gentle, realistic early chapter book. "
– Kirkus Reviews
"Understated…Elmquist writes movingly about Reece's struggle with his parents' 'trial separation,' and his emotions are also evident in Parkins's moody b&w illustrations."
– Publishers Weekly
"Where's Burgess? paints a world that children can relate to…The illustrations in the book are excellent and put on the page exactly what was in my mind…Enduring and memorable. [Where's Burgess?] has the perfect amount of complexity. It is a wonderfully modern story of how connection can combat devastation. Elmquist is a true children's writer. She doesn't just ease children into literature with this book; she eases them the world."
– Nexus Newspaper
"Any reader who has lost a loved one will enjoy this poignant story with its upbeat characters and supportive family members. Its brief text and simple line drawings make it ideal for beginning chapter book readers."
– Resource Links
"Where's Burgess? fits perfectly within the 'Orca Echoes' series which features character-building stories. The vocabulary level is well within an acceptable range for burgeoning readers to read on their own; however, this book also has the potential to be shared between parents and children at bedtime or by a teacher as a classroom read-aloud…For any child who has felt a sense of loss, unlike a frog desiring to blend in, this story is sure to stand out. Highly Recommended."
– CM Magazine
Silver Birch Award Express | 2019 | Short-listed
CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens starred selection | 2018 | Commended
Chocolate Lily Award—Chapter Books | 2019 | Short-listed