Cover image for Where does Joe go?
Where does Joe go?
Pearson, Tracey Campbell.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Because Joe's Snack Bar always closes for the season, the townspeople speculate about where Joe goes for the winter.
Reading Level:
AD 270 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.1 0.5 34569.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.3 1 Quiz: 20505 Guided reading level: J.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



A Christmas story for all year round! Joe's Snack Bar is a favorite summer spot where happy customers from all over town come to buy ice cream cones and french fries. But every time autumn rolls around, Joe shuts down shop and disappears until the next summer. The townspeople all have their own theories about where he goes: "He's gone to the moon," cries tiny June. "He's on a safari," says Charlie McFarley. "In Okefenokee!" screams Mrs. Bodokey. They're all wrong, of course. Joe's actually in charge at the North Pole three quarters of the year, but only Joe and the reader will ever know. Food-and-fun-filled illustrations show how each person imagines what Joe could be up to.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-6. Old Joe with his round belly and snow white beard is a familiar sight at his summer snack shack selling ice cream and other treats. But in the fall, Joe boards up the shack and leaves. Where does he go? That's what everyone wonders. Each two-page spread features fanciful answers to that question. Most of the text appears in sidebars: "`He's gone to the moon,' cried tiny June"; "`He's digging for bones,' said Oliver Jones." The panel shows the town engaged in an activity that mirrors what Joe may be doing. The boy who shovels snow thinks about Joe in the desert on a dinosaur dig; baby June and her mom are searching the heavens, and, perhaps, Joe is selling ice cream to space men. It is the way the comings and goings of the town folk and their invented musing about Joe play against each other that makes the book work so well. As always, Pearson's line-and-watercolor artwork is chock-full of things to see. Whether Joe is in the swamp feeding ice cream to alligators or on Fifth Avenue selling ice cream out of a stand to busy shoppers, the charmingly crowded art allows for lots of laughs. And where does Joe spend the winter? The last page shows him where readers might have guessed--at the North Pole, dressed as Santa, reindeer nibbling at the ice cream in his hands. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

In a starred review, PW said, "Readers will have fun speculating along with the customers of a popular snack bar as to the off-season destination of its plump, white-bearded owner. This light-hearted romp concludes with a wordless surprise ending: Joe is none other than Santa." Ages 3-6. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-K-Joe runs a snack bar in the spring and summer. But where does he go in the winter? In this fanciful picture book, the man's neighbors speculate on his off-season whereabouts. Double-page spreads reveal both the speculator and the speculation, visually suggesting a relationship between the two. Pearson's artwork and the sense of community the artist projects are reminiscent of her The Storekeeper (Dial, 1988; o.p.). Her watercolor and pen-and-ink illustrations have a few quirky details and their storytelling capabilities enable her to keep her text brief without sacrificing the story's complexity. The text rhymes in the same fashion as Barbara Emberley's Drummer Hoff (S & S, 1967), as members of the neighborhood guess where Joe has gone: '" maybe the beach,' said old Mr. Leach," '" having tea with the Queen,' whispered Molly McLeen." This book touches on skills increasingly incorporated in preschool and primary-grade curriculums-prediction and extrapolation-and it's fun.-Liza Bliss, Worcester Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.