PIRATES DON'T GO TO KINDERGARTEN!

It’s tough to walk the plank and leave beloved captains behind; this may make the transition a little easier.

An imaginative pirate preschooler has a hard time adjusting to a new captain in kindergarten.

Not only is beloved preschool teacher Cap’n Chu not the captain of the kindergarten ship, but it doesn’t even sail the seas—it’s a spaceship! This is too much for pirate Emma to take, and she falls back to reboarding the preschool ship: “Pirates don’t go to kindergarten!” Despite repeated efforts on the parts of Cap’n Chu, new teacher Cap’n Hayes, and a fellow kindergartener, Emma continues to cling to Cap’n Chu until she gets the reassurance she needs that her former teacher will miss her too but will always be available for a visit. With that, space pirate Emma finally reports to her new ship. Kaban’s digital illustrations go to town with the metaphor, depicting school as a mix of reality and imagination: Emma swims, wooden cutlass in her teeth, back to the preschool room. Emma’s portrayed with a peg leg in one picture, and the kindergarten guinea pig’s fur makes it look like it wears an eye patch. Otherwise, the pirate trope is limited to bandannas and striped shirts. Emma presents white; the other students are diverse; Cap’n Chu presents Asian; and Cap’n Hayes has brown skin and white hair. Unfortunately, awkward renderings of her head and face may remind readers of a monkey’s.

It’s tough to walk the plank and leave beloved captains behind; this may make the transition a little easier. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-9275-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Two Lions

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of...

Rabe follows a young girl through her first 12 days of kindergarten in this book based on the familiar Christmas carol.

The typical firsts of school are here: riding the bus, making friends, sliding on the playground slide, counting, sorting shapes, laughing at lunch, painting, singing, reading, running, jumping rope, and going on a field trip. While the days are given ordinal numbers, the song skips the cardinal numbers in the verses, and the rhythm is sometimes off: “On the second day of kindergarten / I thought it was so cool / making lots of friends / and riding the bus to my school!” The narrator is a white brunette who wears either a tunic or a dress each day, making her pretty easy to differentiate from her classmates, a nice mix in terms of race; two students even sport glasses. The children in the ink, paint, and collage digital spreads show a variety of emotions, but most are happy to be at school, and the surroundings will be familiar to those who have made an orientation visit to their own schools.

While this is a fairly bland treatment compared to Deborah Lee Rose and Carey Armstrong-Ellis’ The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), it basically gets the job done. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: June 21, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234834-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

THE BIG CHEESE

From the Food Group series

From curds to riches, from meltdown to uplift—this multicourse romp delivers.

A winning wheel of cheddar with braggadocio to match narrates a tale of comeuppance and redemption.

From humble beginnings among kitchen curds living “quiet lives of pasteurization,” the Big Cheese longs to be the best and builds success and renown based on proven skills and dependable results: “I stuck to the things I was good at.” When newcomer Wedge moves to the village of Curds-on-Whey, the Cheese’s star status wobbles and falls. Turns out that quiet, modest Wedge is also multitalented. At the annual Cheese-cathlon, Wedge bests six-time winner Cheese in every event, from the footrace and chess to hat making and bread buttering. A disappointed Cheese throws a full-blown tantrum before arriving at a moment of truth: Self-calming, conscious breathing permits deep relief that losing—even badly—does not result in disaster. A debrief with Wedge “that wasn’t all about me” leads to further realizations: Losing builds empathy for others; obsession with winning obscures “the joy of participating.” The chastened cheddar learns to reserve bragging for lifting up friends, because anyone can be the Big Cheese. More didactic and less pun-rich than previous entries in the Food Group series, this outing nevertheless couples a cheerful refrain with pithy life lessons that hit home. Oswald’s detailed, comical illustrations continue to provide laughs, including a spot with Cheese onstage doing a “CHED” talk.

From curds to riches, from meltdown to uplift—this multicourse romp delivers. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2023

ISBN: 9780063329508

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

Close Quickview