An original take on the first-day-of-school theme follows the 20 students that make up the titular kindergarten class as they get ready in the morning.
Ashburn and Gee do their best to be inclusive in every way—from the kids’ skin tones, ethnicities, and hairstyles to their personalities and behaviors. “Four are eager, up since dawn. / Three just sit / and yawn / and yawn. / Some are grumpy. / Some keep sleeping. / They don’t hear the clock beep-beep-ing!” Some laugh, some cry. Some have prepared ahead of time, with clothes laid out or new shoes or a new backpack, while others spend time looking for things or make do with hand-me-downs. Two fashionistas dress to the nines, while four wear shirts their moms picked out. From day-old underwear and nonmatching socks to an accident with a breakfast plate, forgetting to brush, and issues with younger siblings, Ashburn isn’t afraid to confront mishaps head-on. But after some almost miss the bus, a few get rides, and others walk to school, they all end up together in front of a welcoming teacher. Gee’s delightful tots are done in pencil and colored digitally, with a watercolor look. She captures each personality, and readers are sure to find at least one kid with whom they can identify.
A reassuring peek that will assuage children’s fears about their own first days and their classmates. (Picture book. 4-7)