Each child, whether confident or nervous, stands on the edge of the great unknown when a new school year begins. These dandy books will help the youngest students face this big step toward independence.
In Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! we find out that two people are anxious about the first day: mom and son. At first, the oversized boy bounces out of bed while the nervous mom (small and washed in anxious blue) drags her feet. Using color, size and varying perspectives to show the emotions of both generations of kindergartners, Hyewon Yum captures the nerves, bravado and excitement of the first day.
In Marco Goes to School, a chuckle-worthy and encouraging sequel to Too Busy Marco, a little red bird has a big dream. Marco wants to go to the moon. After he exhausts the opportunities for entertainment around the house, his mom suggests he attend school. Though teacher Mrs. Peachtree has fun floral pants, she talks a lot, which allows Marco’s mind to wander to the class library, where a toy astronaut is perched alluringly. Marco knows what he wants: to go to the moon. Roz Chast’s love of this distracted student are almost enough to get him there, but he does find a friend willing to push him very high . . . in a swing.
For read-aloud hilarity, Ollie’s School Day: A Yes-and No Book, written by Stephanie Calmenson and illustrated by Abby Carter, is the perfect choice. Written as a series of questions, this read-aloud gem allows even the youngest child to learn about the social and behavioral expectations of school. The reader asks questions about Ollie’s day (What will Ollie eat? Wear? Say? Ride? How will he ask a question? Do at story time?). Three silly follow-up questions allow the reader to call out, “NO!” before the turn of the page allows the satisfying “YES.” Calmenson’s wit and Carter’s light, cartoony watercolors are the perfect vehicles for imparting important social expectations to newbies.
Stan is worried that all the other children know how to write, but his words are coming out in a muddle. In Back to Front and Upside Down! Claire Alexander has created a comfortin[Thu Dec 12 19:04:14 2013] enhancedContent.pl: Wide character in print at E:\websites\aquabrowser\IMCPL\app\site\enhancedContent.pl line 249. g book for little learners. Instead of asking for help with the principal’s birthday card, Stan struggles by himself. He hides his writing failure from his friends until the pressure is too much. Then he finds out that everyone needs help sometimes, and writing becomes easier once he shares his struggle with the engaging Miss Catnip. Stan’s story can serve as a springboard to discussions about learning and getting help when needed.Copyright 2012 BookPage Reviews.
The principal of Stan's school is having a birthday, and Miss Catnip, Stan's teacher, has a great thought: everyone is going to make a birthday card for Mr. Slippers. Stan, an adorable brown puppy with floppy ears and an expressive snout, immediately starts drawing an impressive picture--until he learns that Miss Catnip expects everyone to write a greeting as well. Writing is definitely not Stan's strong suit: "is letters came out back to front and upside down, and some didn't look like letters at all! I can't do this! Stan thought." When Stan hits rock bottom--"Even his name was coming out in a muddle"--he becomes a tiny, disconsolate figure at his desk (his legs don't even touch the ground), marooned in a black sea of despair. But good advice from his friend Jack ("We all have to ask for help sometimes") and compassionate help ride to the rescue. It's not a new idea, but Alexander (Small Florence, Piggy Pop Star) is such a caring and visually sumptuous storyteller that readers will happily travel down this road with her. Ages 4-7. (Aug.)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
PreS-Gr 1--Stan, a small anthropomorphic puppy, faces a big problem-his class is making birthday cards for the principal, but he just can't get the hang of writing. He is despondent until a friend suggests that he approach their teacher for help. Gathering up some courage, Stan approaches Miss Catnip and discovers that he's not the only one having trouble. After "lots and lots and lots of practice," Stan's writing improves and he not only creates a great card, but learns that he should always ask for help when he is struggling. Alexander's mostly full-page illustrations of Stan and his animal friends are bright and cheerful. Though cartoonish, they expressively depict the change in Stan's emotions-from isolation and sadness to accomplishment and happiness. The story is a tad didactic, but it teaches a good lesson. Students should have no trouble sympathizing with Stan's learning difficulties and cheer for his success.--Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, formerly at Chappaqua Library, NY[Page 110]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.