Birdie is a delightful guide for those new to school, and parents may want to take a page from her mom’s book and have a...

BIRDIE'S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

From the Birdie series

Birdie is back, and this time she is nervous about her first day of school.

So nervous, in fact, that she can’t sleep, which is illustrated to hysterical effect in three overhead views of a tossing-and-turning Birdie in bed with her peacefully slumbering dog, Monster. She shares her worries with Monster in the morning—what it will be like, what should she bring, what should she wear—but he’s no help. But Mommy’s locket helps her remember that she and Monster are always there for her. And Birdie’s first day is great—filled with all the school standards: cubbies, desks, a nice, bearded teacher, stories, songs, a yummy lunch, recess, and art. And at the end of the day, not only does Birdie proudly share everything about her day, but she has trouble sleeping again, this time due to excitement about her second day. Rim’s nicely textured watercolor, colored pencil, and collage illustrations portray Birdie and her multiracial classmates’ transformations from nervous to happy as the day progresses, white backgrounds keeping the focus on the kids.

Birdie is a delightful guide for those new to school, and parents may want to take a page from her mom’s book and have a locket handy. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: July 14, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-316-40745-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2015

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Just the thing to get uncertain youngsters jazzed for a first day—at school or anywhere.

THE QUEEN OF KINDERGARTEN

Barnes and Brantley-Newton team up for a follow-up to The King of Kindergarten (2019).

From the very first page, it’s clear that young MJ Malone is ready to face the world—and school. Once Mom bestows her with a glittery tiara and dubs her the queen of kindergarten, MJ is determined to fulfill her duties—brighten up every room she enters, treat others with kindness, and offer a helping hand. Barnes infuses each page with humor and a sense of grace as the immensely likable MJ makes the most of her first day. Barnes’ prose is entertaining and heartwarming, while Brantley-Newton’s vivid and playful artwork will be easily recognizable for anyone who’s seen her work (Grandma’s Purse, 2018; Becoming Vanessa, 2021). The illustrator adds verve to the bold young heroine’s character—from the colorful barrettes to the textured appearance of her adorable denim jumper, the girl has style and substance. MJ Malone embodies the can-do spirit every parent hopes to spark in their own children, though even shy kindergarteners will gladly find a friend in her. MJ and her family are Black; her classroom is diverse. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Just the thing to get uncertain youngsters jazzed for a first day—at school or anywhere. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: May 24, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-11142-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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Uncomplicated and worthwhile for any age.

THE THANKFUL BOOK

Parr focuses his simplistic childlike art and declarative sentences on gratitude for the pleasures and wonders of a child’s everyday life.

Using images of both kids and animals, each colorful scene in bold primary colors declaims a reason to be thankful. “I am thankful for my hair because it makes me unique” shows a yellow-faced child with a wild purple coiffure, indicating self-esteem. An elephant with large pink ears happily exclaims, “I am thankful for my ears because they let me hear words like ‘I love you.’ ” Humor is interjected with, “I am thankful for underwear because I like to wear it on my head.” (Parents will hope that it is clean, but potty-humor–loving children probably won’t care.) Children are encouraged to be thankful for feet, music, school, vacations and the library, “because it is filled with endless adventures,” among other things. The book’s cheery, upbeat message is clearly meant to inspire optimistic gratitude; Parr exhorts children to “remember some [things to be thankful for] every day.”

Uncomplicated and worthwhile for any age. (Picture book. 4-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-316-18101-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2012

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