Perfect for children going through transitions and the adults who guide them.

GOODBYE, SCHOOL

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)

Pub Date: April 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4338-3029-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Magination/American Psychological Association

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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

ON THE FIRST DAY OF KINDERGARTEN

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 4, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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A solid if message-driven conversation starter about the hard parts of learning.

THE MAGICAL YET

Children realize their dreams one step at a time in this story about growth mindset.

A child crashes and damages a new bicycle on a dark, rainy day. Attempting a wheelie, the novice cyclist falls onto the sidewalk, grimacing, and, having internalized this setback as failure, vows to never ride again but to “walk…forever.” Then the unnamed protagonist happens upon a glowing orb in the forest, a “thought rearranger-er”—a luminous pink fairy called the Magical Yet. This Yet reminds the child of past accomplishments and encourages perseverance. The second-person rhyming couplets remind readers that mistakes are part of learning and that with patience and effort, children can achieve. Readers see the protagonist learn to ride the bike before a flash-forward shows the child as a capable college graduate confidently designing a sleek new bike. This book shines with diversity: racial, ethnic, ability, and gender. The gender-indeterminate protagonist has light brown skin and exuberant curly locks; Amid the bustling secondary cast, one child uses a prosthesis, and another wears hijab. At no point in the text is the Yet defined as a metaphor for a growth mindset; adults reading with younger children will likely need to clarify this abstract lesson. The artwork is powerful and detailed—pay special attention to the endpapers that progress to show the Yet at work.

A solid if message-driven conversation starter about the hard parts of learning. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-368-02562-1

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion/LBYR

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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