On graduation day, a patient teacher leads her class through a guessing game about what has been the best thing about kindergarten.
Mrs. Appleby is proud of her class. They’ve made hats and decorations and learned a special song to sing for their parents. But kindergarten is not over quite yet—there is time for one last, and most important, lesson. “Who can guess what is the best thing about kindergarten?” The students come up with lots of good answers—calendar time, the playhouse center, the block corner, arts and crafts time, math time, the writing center, storytime, recess—but none is correct, although Mrs. Appleby kindly reinforces the accomplishments and enjoyment her students have gained from each of these activities. The guessing game is interrupted by the graduation ceremony, which goes without a hitch, the proud students each doing their parts and receiving their diplomas. And at the end, she finally shares the answer: “You, my students, are the best thing about kindergarten.” The hurried, scribbly feel of Leng’s illustrations lend them the busy, hectic reality of a kindergarten classroom, especially on the exciting last day of school. She neatly captures the messiness and creativity that characterize young children, and her kindergarteners are a nice mix of races and genders.
The best thing about this book? Its reassuring look back at all the things the happy and successful students have enjoyed about kindergarten—equally valuable at the beginning and the end of the school year. (Picture book. 3-5)