DON’T GO! by Jane Breskin Zalben


Age Range: 3 - 5
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The thrill of the first day at preschool and all its attendant worries (for parent and child) are addressed in this compassionate tale. When Daniel sets off, he experiences some trepidation about leaving his mother for a strange new environment. The title phrase soon becomes his mantra as he resolutely clings to his mom. However, with steady reassurance and few strategic comfort items from home, Daniel eventually joins the group. Shortly thereafter, he is able to bid a somber, but tearless, goodbye. A day of play and blossoming friendships leads Daniel to discover the more pleasant aspects of preschool. Zalben’s (To Every Season, not reviewed, etc.) honesty and pragmatic tone will put young readers at ease. She addresses Daniel’s emotional upheavals without an excess of fanfare, neatly blending his sadness and wariness with intriguing tidbits about preschool life and the prospect of new friends. Readers who do not ease into transitions smoothly will find encouragement in Daniel’s dilemma and his resolution of it. Included at the end are a “Checklist for First Day at Preschool,” a note from the editor called “Getting Ready for Preschool,” and a cookie recipe. Zalben’s bright watercolors feature a cast of appealingly anthropomorphic animals; Daniel’s mother is a suit-clad, sneaker-wearing elephant, while his classmates are a hippo, cat, and pig. The juxtaposition of familiar animals with very human scenarios is at once comforting and comical. A terrific tale to take the sting out of first-day-of-school separation anxieties. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 18th, 2001
ISBN: 0-618-07250-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2001


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