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ENRICO STARTS SCHOOL by Charlotte Middleton


by Charlotte Middleton & illustrated by Charlotte Middleton

Age Range: 4 - 6

Pub Date: July 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8037-3017-9
Publisher: Dial

A conventional message, served up with unusual simplicity and low-key humor. At five, Enrico can make a mean sardine-in-lobster-jelly sandwich—not as gross as it might seem, as everyone in the childlike pictures is a cat—but he hasn’t acquired the knack for making friends at school. After several failed attempts to fit in, he takes his little brother Chico’s advice, just to be himself, and in no time is volleying a tennis ball on the playground with a new best buddy, Pepe. Middleton lays expressive, neatly trimmed paper figures on monochrome-painted or silk-screened backgrounds to create appropriately elemental visuals. The Large Life Lesson gets a bit of individual flavor with the Latino character names and a Spanish word or two—but theme-wise it’s still one among many, and less likely to ease the anxieties of prospective first graders on its own than, say, Jeanne Willis’s I Hate School (see below). (Picture book. 4-6)