A boy anxious about his first day of school settles his nerves with some pretend play.
Freddy is obviously mad about space—his room is blue and decorated with stars and constellations, and a planet mobile hangs above the outer-space quilt on his bed. But he may not be quite ready for school yet: “School is big. It’s far, far away. And it’s full of strangers.” The boy alternately imagines working in space and getting ready for school—his backpack is his jetpack, his shirt is his uniform, his new shoes are moon boots, and that laser he straps on? It looks suspiciously like a banana. But a sudden problem with the ship leaves Freddy floating in space alone, until he lands on a faraway planet and meets an extraterrestrial who tries to take his laser. But then Mom opens the door to find Freddy and his baby sister on the floor playing. Freddy’s finally ready, though: “School’s a big place….But I’ve been to space, and it is gigantic.” Reflecting the space theme, Chou’s digital illustrations employ lots of deep blue, pops of bright color, and angular lines. Freddy, his mom, and his sister have medium-brown skin and dark, straight hair.
While not as strong as Sue Ganz-Schmitt and Shane Prigmore’s Planet Kindergarten (2014), it’s a great choice for space fans and a good way to introduce kids to distraction as a coping technique. (bibliography, further reading) (Picture book. 4-8)