Next book

MAE’S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

A sweet affirmation of jitters and comfort in numbers

There’s nothing wishy-washy about Mae: She is “not going” to school!

Despite her parents’ best efforts, all Mae sees is “the things that could go wrong.” The other kids might not like her, they all might know how to write (she does not), and she might miss her mother. As soon as she gets to school, she climbs a tree. Maybe she could live there. She’s soon joined by Rosie, who is equally determined not to go to school: Other kids might not play with her, she might be asked to read (she doesn’t know how yet), and she might miss her dad. Then Ms. Pearl climbs up, explaining that she’s not going to school, either: The kids might not like her, she might “forget how to spell Tuesday,” and she might miss her cat. Taking comfort from one another, the three descend to go to school. Berube’s story takes its protagonist’s fears seriously, and even though young readers are likely to anticipate the story’s outcome, its respect for their emotions is clear. Repetition and patterning will help children participate in the telling and anticipate what will happen next. In the bright and splashy illustrations, Mae is depicted with pale skin and a thatch of black hair; Rosie has light brown skin and brown pigtails; Ms. Pearl has brown skin and a poof of tightly curled brown hair.

A sweet affirmation of jitters and comfort in numbers . (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2325-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

Next book

THE HUGASAURUS

Gently models kindness and respect—positive behavior that can be applied daily.

A group of young “dinosauruses” go out into the world on their own.

A fuchsia little Hugasaurus and her Pappysaur (both of whom resemble Triceratops) have never been apart before, but Hugasaurus happily heads off with lunchbox in hand and “wonder in her heart” to make new friends. The story has a first-day-of-school feeling, but Hugasaurus doesn’t end up in a formal school environment; rather, she finds herself on a playground with other little prehistoric creatures, though no teacher or adult seems to be around. At first, the new friends laugh and play. But Hugasaurus’ pals begin to squabble, and play comes to a halt. As she wonders what to do, a fuzzy platypus playmate asks some wise questions (“What…would your Pappy say to do? / What makes YOU feel better?”), and Hugasaurus decides to give everyone a hug—though she remembers to ask permission first. Slowly, good humor is restored and play begins anew with promises to be slow to anger and, in general, to help create a kinder world. Short rhyming verses occasionally use near rhyme but also include fun pairs like ripples and double-triples. Featuring cozy illustrations of brightly colored creatures, the tale sends a strong message about appropriate and inappropriate ways to resolve conflict, the final pages restating the lesson plainly in a refrain that could become a classroom motto. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Gently models kindness and respect—positive behavior that can be applied daily. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-338-82869-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2022

Next book

ROBOT, GO BOT!

A straightforward tale of conflict and reconciliation for newly emergent readers? Not exactly, which raises it above the...

In this deceptively spare, very beginning reader, a girl assembles a robot and then treats it like a slave until it goes on strike.

Having put the robot together from a jumble of loose parts, the budding engineer issues an increasingly peremptory series of rhymed orders— “Throw, Bot. / Row, Bot”—that turn from playful activities like chasing bubbles in the yard to tasks like hoeing the garden, mowing the lawn and towing her around in a wagon. Jung crafts a robot with riveted edges, big googly eyes and a smile that turns down in stages to a scowl as the work is piled on. At last, the exhausted robot plops itself down, then in response to its tormentor’s angry “Don’t say no, Bot!” stomps off in a huff. In one to four spacious, sequential panels per spread, Jung develops both the plotline and the emotional conflict using smoothly modeled cartoon figures against monochromatic or minimally detailed backgrounds. The child’s commands, confined in small dialogue balloons, are rhymed until her repentant “Come on home, Bot” breaks the pattern but leads to a more equitable division of labor at the end.

A straightforward tale of conflict and reconciliation for newly emergent readers? Not exactly, which raises it above the rest. (Easy reader. 4-6)

Pub Date: June 25, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-375-87083-5

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2013

Close Quickview