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1, 2, 3, OFF TO SCHOOL! by Marianne Dubuc

1, 2, 3, OFF TO SCHOOL!

by Marianne Dubuc ; illustrated by Marianne Dubuc ; translated by Yvette Ghione

Pub Date: May 4th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-5253-0656-3
Publisher: Kids Can

In anticipation of kindergarten next year, a curious child follows their animal neighbors to each of their schools for the day.

Pom, a White child with a pointy, red hat who lives in a tree, may not start kindergarten until next year, but their animal friends have told them all about their schools. With their schoolbag packed and a new pair of shoes, Pom sets off on an adventure to check out the schools for themself. Starting with the busy mice, Pom then visits rabbits, frogs, foxes, bears, sloths, squirrels, wolves, turtles, and hedgehogs. Every location introduces a new school-related activity, including bus rides, field trips, music, gym, lunch, napping, cleaning up, and after-school pickup. Apart from Pom, only three other nonanimal characters appear in the illustrations, including Momo (Pom’s caregiver), and all of them have pale pink skin like Pom’s. The narrative does not assign a binary gender to either Pom or Momo. The double-page illustrations, alive with tiny details and references to popular children’s stories, demand up-close exploration. Bits of dialogue scattered across the pages, although not essential to understanding the story, highlight student perspectives about daily routines. Despite the disappointing lack of racial diversity, Pom’s ease and inquisitive nature combine with the distance provided by the focus on animals at school to create a gentle preview of a big life change. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Imported from France, a whimsical peek at a new experience.

(Picture book. 3-5)