MY FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

A cute and encouraging primer on what goes down at school.

A cheery white tot experiences the first day of school.

In first-person narration conveyed in rhyming couplets, the child dresses in jeans and T-shirt, eats breakfast, gets dropped off by Dad, and joins new classmates for a fun day at school. The child’s class has a diverse population, and the book’s tone is enthusiastically reassuring. The kids play outside, learn their ABCs, paint, and more. “We practice saying ‘thanks’ and ‘please,’ / and how to block germs when we sneeze.” Here, the kids all earnestly sneeze into their elbows while their teacher, a white woman, holds a box of tissues. All along the children are smiling in the ubiquitous board-book style, but as a balm for school-day jitters, the calm colors and smiling faces are effective. This title isn’t a must read, but if a little reader is nervous about going to school this title will do the trick. Judging by the size of the school and the sidewalk drop-off routine, these kids are going to kindergarten rather than preschool, which makes the audience for this board book unclear. Children of an age to require board pages aren’t ready for kindergarten, and those who are are mostly accustomed to longer books with paper pages. However, toddler siblings of new kindergartners will enjoy this peek at an older sibling’s day.

A cute and encouraging primer on what goes down at school. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8249-1657-2

Page Count: 20

Publisher: WorthyKids/Ideals

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2018

A KISSING HAND FOR CHESTER RACCOON

From the Kissing Hand series

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original...

A sweetened, condensed version of the best-selling picture book, The Kissing Hand.

As in the original, Chester Raccoon is nervous about attending Owl’s night school (raccoons are nocturnal). His mom kisses him on the paw and reminds him, “With a Kissing Hand… / We’ll never be apart.” The text boils the story down to its key elements, causing this version to feel rushed. Gone is the list of fun things Chester will get to do at school. Fans of the original may be disappointed that this board edition uses a different illustrator. Gibson’s work is equally sentimental, but her renderings are stiff and flat in comparison to the watercolors of Harper and Leak. Very young readers will probably not understand that Owl’s tree, filled with opossums, a squirrel, a chipmunk and others, is supposed to be a school.

Parents of toddlers starting school or day care should seek separation-anxiety remedies elsewhere, and fans of the original shouldn’t look to this version as replacement for their page-worn copies. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: April 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-933718-77-4

Page Count: 14

Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2014

I AM A BIG BROTHER

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an...

A little boy exults in his new role as big brother.

Rhyming text describes the arrival of a new baby and all of the big brother’s rewarding new duties. He gets to help with feedings, diaper changes, playtime, bathtime, and naptime. Though the rhyming couplets can sometimes feel a bit forced and awkward, the sentiment is sweet, as the focus here never veers from the excitement and love a little boy feels for his tiny new sibling. The charming, uncluttered illustrations convincingly depict the growing bond between this fair-skinned, rosy-cheeked, smiling pair of boys. In the final pages, the parents, heretofore kept mostly out of view, are pictured holding the children. The accompanying text reads: “Mommy, Daddy, baby, me. / We love each other—a family!” In companion volume I Am a Big Sister, the little boy is replaced with a little girl with bows in her hair. Some of the colors and patterns in the illustrations are slightly altered, but it is essentially the same title.

A good choice for caregivers looking for a positive, uncomplicated introduction to a new baby that focuses on everything an older sibling can do to help. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: Jan. 27, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-68886-4

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Cartwheel/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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