Slightly simplistic rhymes that nevertheless will help explain feelings to youngsters.

FEELINGS

“Looking from the outside, I may seem the same as you, / but deep beneath the surface, feelings bubble, stir, and brew….”

From the cutout in the center of the cover and every page before the last, a child in knit cap and red wellies stares placidly as the scene changes with each page turn to suit a different feeling described in two couplets. British author Walden describes “brave,” “sad,” “angry,” “happy,” “jealous,” “alone,” “embarrassed,” “excited,” “afraid,” and “calm.” The simple descriptions mostly fit and won’t surprise adults: Envy is an “emerald mist,” choler is a volcano, sadness is a flood. Jones’ pastel images with ruddy highlights, some filling the page and others in small panels, depict animals and weather and other children, deftly extending the rhymed definitions, and offer identifiable visuals for young listeners. The final pair of couplets are set on a spread that shows the focal, light-skinned child sharing a country lane with other children of different races; they offer the oversimplified idea that “what you feel is who you are,” though they do go on to say we should accept that others have feelings too as we accept and “claim” our own.

Slightly simplistic rhymes that nevertheless will help explain feelings to youngsters. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68010-093-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tiger Tales

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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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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Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool.

PETE THE KITTY'S FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL

From the Pete the Cat series

The popular character enjoys storytime, painting, and a snack on the very first day of preschool.

The younger incarnation of Pete the Cat packs his backpack that he picked out from the store himself, gets a snack from his mom, and rides the school bus with his big brother, Bob (who isn’t much bigger than Pete, sizewise). At school, Pete meets his stylish teacher, Mrs. Lopez, and fellow feline classmates while keeping his signature cool. The day ends with Pete declaring: “Preschool is awesome! Pete loves everything!” James Dean’s big-eyed cats populate the simply drawn scenes that look as though they were painted in preschool-esque fashion with thick swaths of tempera. At a couple of moments (when he eats his banana and declares it tasty and when he sings along) his customarily expressionless face actually breaks into a smile. Kimberly Dean’s text is uninspired, but it’s in sync with the upbeat tone of the series. Pete’s preschool experience, while not particularly realistic, is a highly positive one; refreshingly, there is no trace of the separation anxiety or anxiousness found in many first-day-of-school books.

Likely to be popular with young Pete the Cat fans and parents seeking a gentle introduction to preschool. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: June 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06243582-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: HarperFestival

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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