YOU HAVE TO BE NICE TO SOMEONE ON THEIR BIRTHDAY

What should be the best day ever turns bumpy for young Rosemary. The night before her birthday, she’s so excited she jumps up and down on her bed, reminding her brother Petey that he has to be nice to her. But the next morning, things go steadily downhill. Rosemary’s horrible out-of-town cousins come for a visit, Mom doesn’t make her the special breakfast she expected and she takes her bad mood to school, where it gets her into deeper trouble with her teacher, Ms. Swanson. When Principal Neeble informs Rosemary that it’s Ms. Swanson’s birthday too, the little girl realizes that she should have been nice to her teacher, and rushes to make amends. They share cake and confidences. Bottner offers a couple more twists in her subtle tale about feelings and friendships, and Mai-Wyss’s busy paintings are full of sly jokes. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: March 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-399-24295-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2007

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I AM TOO ABSOLUTELY SMALL FOR SCHOOL

From the Charlie & Lola series

The dynamic sibling duo of I Will Never Not Ever Eat a Tomato (2000) is back for another engaging round of give-and-take. Plainly nervous at the prospect of starting school, little Lola declares that she doesn’t need to count over ten or learn to read, won’t wear a “schooliform,” and doesn’t feature eating lunch alone. Charlie artfully counters each objection: what if she needs treats for 11 elephants, or to read a bedtime story to an ogre—and, anyway, she can wear whatever she wants to school (well, not that alligator suit), and even take along her invisible companion, Soren Lorensen. Child’s postmodern collages feature cut-out figures, patterned papers, and clipped photos in freewheeling compositions through which lines of text loop and wander; the effect is typically effervescent, matching the lively, real-sounding repartee. A fine way to banish those First Day jitters. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-7636-2403-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2004

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FIRST GRADE, HERE I COME!

Henry has graduated from kindergarten, but that doesn’t mean he has necessarily left it behind. When his mother asks how his first day in first grade went, he says, “I didn’t like it because I missed kindergarten.” His mother encourages him to talk about it. As Henry goes about debriefing her, he develops a whole new picture. The teacher was new—and a man!—but he was also a good guy, as evidenced by the fact that he liked Henry’s pet worm. There were new kids, too, but Henry had already made a friend in Oswaldo. There was a cool science corner with a really fast guinea pig (discovered when you just happen to open Curly’s cage door). Minor problems are knit up, a little independence is dispensed and the first day of first grade turns out actually to be pretty neat. Prospective first-graders will find Carlson’s story enormously buoyant, floating those first-day cares away on the backs of her sweet, lopsided characters. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: July 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-670-06127-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2006

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