Today is Franny’s last day at her current school, and she is finding it hard to say goodbye.
Franny will miss her school like a dear old friend. On her last day, she reflects on the many happy memories she had here and all the things she will miss. “She played here, read here, learned here, and even used to nap here. She had friends here.” Franny engages all her senses in reminiscing. “She flew her fingers over [the wall’s] rough and smooth spots and felt its warmth.” She breathes deeply, and books, chalk, and graham crackers come to mind. As Franny remembers sitting under the trees with her best friend, surrounded by light, shadows, and four-leaf clovers, it comes to her—the perfect way to say goodbye. Lippert’s languid prose and tender child’s-eye point of view evoke the emotions of a young person’s struggle with transitions, especially changing schools. Bishop renders her multicultural characters (Franny appears East Asian) with wide-eyed expressions and in carefree activities that exemplify a child’s joy and exuberance. And every gentle, muted brush stroke echoes the author’s intentions, from the book’s initial melancholic mood until the heartening ending. Lippert, an expert in developmental psychology, provides excellent advice in the backmatter for helping children cope with change.
Perfect for children going through transitions and the adults who guide them. (Picture book. 4-8)