Annabelle's third-grade sister, Lucy, makes sure that Annabelle is well prepared for her first day at school, with mixed results. Officious Lucy teaches Annabelle the ""fancy stuff""--on Mom's dressing table, the colors are not just red and blue but Raving Scarlet and Blue Desire. But when, on Lucy's instruction, Annabelle responds to Mr. Blum's roll call with ""Annabelle Swift, Kindergartner,"" she is mortified to have everyone laugh. After Lucy's color names also prove inappropriate, Annabelle learns caution; but the class's esteem is fully restored when she is the only one who can count the milk money--Lucy taught her that, too. Schwartz's well-designed, cartoonish illustrations are brightly colored and wonderfully expressive of five-year-old emotions and a cozy, well-equipped classroom; you can almost smell the vast, fresh-scrubbed cafeteria where Annabelle goes to fetch the milk. An exceptionally perceptive look at sisterly relations and the ups and downs of beginning school.