Readers will actively explore an elementary school environment in this latest in Ljungkvist’s successful string of books.
Beginning on the front cover and ending on the back, an uninterrupted black line leads readers through the front doors of a school, into and around a classroom, to the library, art and music rooms, cafeteria and playground and, finally, back out the door at the end of the day. Along the way, three questions on each spread prompt children to really think about what they may see, do and learn at school and give them a chance to show off what they already know. On the cafeteria page they are asked to name all the fruits they see, while the music-room spread challenges them to sort instruments according to how they make their sounds. Opportunities abound to identify numbers, shapes, letters, animals and colors within the artwork—a busy collaged mix of photos, cut paper, found objects and drawings. The titular line snakes and weaves through it all, cleverly forming words, numbers, furniture, animals, playground equipment and objects. Even without the seek-and-find and line-following games, there is plenty here to keep readers’ attention—and to allay at least a few concerns about what school will be like.
While the small details preclude group sharing, this is just right for sharing with one or two soon-to-be-schoolers or for independent browsing of the stylish illustrations. (Picture book. 4-7)