BERNARD GOES TO SCHOOL by Joan Elizabeth Goodman


Age Range: 2 - 5
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The first day of preschool can give even an elephant a case of the shim-shams, as Goodman’s little pachyderm learns. Bernard is ushered into school by his mother, father, and grandma, but surrounded as he is by kith and kin, Bernard isn’t cottoning to the experience. As mother and father oh and ah, Bernard says it’s “time to go home.” Mother, father, and grandma eagerly point out the blocks and costumes and art supplies, and Bernard disappears behind his mother’s ample posterior. Miss Brody—an Old Soul in the finest elephant tradition (if youngish and turquoise)—is Bernard’s teacher, and she gently guides him over to the fish tank to give the fish a snack. While Bernard had firmly resisted his parents’ implorings to get involved, he offers a couple of tentative “maybes” to Miss Brody, not seemingly out of need to gain her favor, but because feeding the fish takes his mind off his worries. Besides, he gets acquainted with a schoolmate at the tank and they join forces to name the fish. Bernard intones “time to go home” once more, though now he means it’s time for his parents to take a powder. Featuring purple, green, and gold elephants, Catalano’s pastels are as soft as the outcome of the story, with Bernard discovering that a friendly face and a new chum go a long way toward taking the dismay out of the new. (Picture book. 2-5)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 1-56397-958-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2001


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