In a reverse of the back-to-school books featuring teachers reluctant to face the first day, this one spotlights some grown-ups who long to head back to the classroom.
Buddy is back (Buddy’s Bedtime Battery, 2016), joined by his sister, Lady, and the two are getting ready for school, but first they have to dissuade some overeager adults. Mom is thrilled with her new backpack; she’s wearing it to school, but: “You can’t go to school. / Only kids and teachers. / Only kids and teachers.” Dad’s got new high-tops. He hears the same refrain, as do Grandma, Grandpa, and their dog. Then come the wheedling and whining: “It’s not fair.” The grown-ups want to play alphabet games, do science experiments, have recess, etc. The kids are apologetic and try to sweeten the disappointment, promising they can go to the playground on the way home. A parting shot raises the adults’ eyebrows and may hint at another book: “Don’t forget—tomorrow we get to go to work with you!” This topsy-turvy plot may get readers pumped about school, but the funny premise and humor are eroded by the refrain, which gets old long before it stops. Bowers’ bright illustrations delight with the characters’ expressive faces. Buddy and Lady’s family is white; other students are diverse.
While the premise beckons, it may not sustain repeat readings. (Picture book. 4-8)