Reviews for Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?

Booklist Reviews 2010 August #1
Gearing up for the first day of kindergarten can be a stressful affair, but the base-level implausibility of this book should add some laughs while reassuring children that they are, in fact, ready for the big leap into school. By transferring the subject from a child to “your buffalo,” the book dodges preachiness as it lays out some nice lessons about what to expect. Chalky drawings of a big cartoony buffalo show that although he may be the only kid in class with a mane, horns, and a hump, there’s all sorts of things that make him unique and special. Just the thing to calm those night-before nerves. Ed: OK in Older Readers? Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

BookPage Reviews 2010 August
The adventure of kindergarten

As my own brood heads off to middle school and high school this year, kindergarten seems like a very long time ago. Starting school is such a milestone, and those first few days are filled with excitement, jitters and sweetness.


Antoinette Portis’ Kindergarten Diary is a great way to get youngsters ready for their big day. Written in diary form by a young student named Annalina, it covers her first month of school with humor and insight. Annalina voices her fears (of school, of the teacher, of other children), but gradually discovers that she loves everything about her school, and by the end of the month, she is “Too busy to write any more!”

Even older kids who’ve already aced kindergarten will enjoy Annalina’s observations, such as what she plans to wear on her first day (bathing suit, ballet skirt, plaid shirt, cowboy boots, no socks), and what her mother makes her wear (nice blue sailor suit dress). Portis’ lively illustrations combine drawings and photographs in a style that resembles a kindergartner’s diary, right down to the wide-lined paper.


Another lively kindergartner is “Adventure Annie,” who made her debut in Adventure Annie Goes to Work. Toni Buzzeo brings this delightful character back to life in Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten. Dressed in a red cape and red boots, Adventure Annie is always on the lookout for great excitement, so she stuffs her backpack with her zookeeper hat, high wire slippers and walkie-talkies, “just in case.” This exuberant girl is every kindergarten teacher’s nightmare as she paints the hamster cage (to make the habitat look “natural”) and sneaks out to the jungle gym by herself. However, Annie and her walkie-talkies come to the rescue when two of her more timid classmates get lost while fetching milk cartons for lunch. This fast-paced tale will have readers chuckling, and Amy Wummer’s pencil and watercolor illustrations reveal the unfolding action and make Annie’s red cape fly.


While Annie is obviously ready for kindergarten (and more!), young readers will enjoy pondering this question: Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? As with the beloved Clifford the Big Red Dog, size is a bit of an issue for a buffalo kindergartner. However, Audrey Vernick’s witty text makes this shy student a super-sized hit as he adjusts to his new classroom. Daniel Jennewein’s simple illustrations gi[Wed Aug 27 23:15:25 2014] Wide character in print at E:\websites\aquabrowser\IMCPL\app\site\ line 249. ve this buffalo big, winning eyes and lots of lovable expressions. Little ones about to spend their own first days in kindergarten will be reassured by this big guy’s successful efforts to fit in.


There’s another fluffy, floppy face in Kindergarten Cat. Found outside and rescued by Mr. Bigbuttons, this lucky feline gets a new name (“Tinker Toy”) and a new home in a cheery kindergarten room, making a bed in the paintbrush drawers. In J. Patrick’s Lewis’s rhyming text, Tinker Toy proves to be a whiz, giving all the right answers with carefully enunciated “meows.” Ailie Busby’s mixed media illustrations are clever kindergarten-style creations that bring the classroom in focus.

These picture books will get prospective students in the right frame of mind for their own monumental quests. As Adventure Annie’s mother advises, “Sometimes kindergarten is its own adventure.”

Copyright 2010 BookPage Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
Though he's hairier than everyone else and too big for the swings, Buffalo successfully navigates kindergarten. He gets over his shyness, fear of scissors, and temptation to improperly use his horns by following the rules and remembering that everyone is different. Expressive childlike drawings illustrate this playful take on the first-day-of-school-jitters story. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 June #1

He is if he's got a backpack, of course. There are other things you can do to help him out, too—introduce him and his adorable furry face to your friends, guide him to the best playground games ("Your buffalo is the very best hiding spot ever") and always remind him that "Everyone's special in his or her own way" (maybe he can't use scissors, but he is the state animal of Oklahoma). To this tongue-in-cheek direct-address text, Jennewein matches clean, cartoon compositions. His smudgy pencil outlines soften the flat colors and make plenty of hay with the buffalo's outsized bulk. The giant ruminant's goofy grin matches that of his redheaded owner's and heightens the ridiculousness of the scenario. As an embodiment of school anxiety, this buffalo leads the herd—plus, he's got a hump. (Picture book. 4-8)

Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 July #4

"Some people say kindergarten is no place for a buffalo. How crazy is that?" So begins this humorous story about standing out in order to fit in. A buffalo doesn't look, eat, or act like anyone else, but it's his differences that make him so lovable ("who can resist that furry face?"). This story's simple lesson about individuality is cleverly expressed through Vernick's gentle wit and Jennewein's crayon-outlined kindergartners--most of all, the furry and ungainly reader surrogate with whom kids will readily relate, even if "he may the only one who eats grass, then throws it up in his mouth and eats it again. Remember: Everyone's special in his or her own way." Ages 4-8. (July)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 June

PreS-K--As the title indicates, this is a silly book about the first day of kindergarten with one's own buffalo. The analogy here is that kids react and behave differently, and that there is a place for all of them in school. The story prompts readers to remind the buffalo that finger painting is fun and it's okay to get messy; those hooves could create a masterpiece. Buffaloes (and children) learn how to get along without using their horns. "Cooperating and taking turns are both Very Big Deals in kindergarten." This wacky picture book, with its bold cartoonlike illustrations of a buffalo that snorts, dances, and makes faces, may help apprehensive youngsters to be more at ease about going to school. "Everyone's special in his or her own way. That's the kind of thing you learn in kindergarten." Vernick's amusing tale will prove handy as a first-day-of-school book recommendation for children and teachers alike.--Lindsay Persohn, Crystal Lake Elementary, Lakeland, FL

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