This French import is a confusing miss for youngsters looking for reassurance on their first days of school.
The end of the holidays means the start of school for a family with three children. With their mother, they go shopping for school supplies and shoes and get haircuts and their pictures taken. On the first day, vignettes show the myriad things the family members do to get ready—shaving, tying shoelaces, squeezing oranges for juice, putting on makeup, brushing teeth, etc. Dad takes the oldest two to school, while Mom drops off the toddler at day care. The pages then follow the three children through their days, but it is difficult to keep track of them among the other, similarly drawn children, especially after they take off their jackets, removing an easy identifier. Single-and double-page spreads alternate with vignettes, which are sometimes labeled like a list, making the pages visually busy. Indeed, with its spareness of text, the story is experienced more through the softly colored illustrations and the body language of the people. The rosy-cheeked children are a nice mix of races and genders (the baby sitter is black), and the scenes are ones that will be universally familiar.
While this may illustrate a typical family day, there are lots of blanks that readers (and listeners) will have to fill in for themselves…maybe too many. (Picture book. 2-4)