Tuesday, August 9, 2016
PICTURE BOOKS FOR BACK TO SCHOOL!
After discovering one morning that she has grown a tiger tail, Anya decides that there is no way she can go to school. She tries really hard to convince her parents that she can't go to school this way but they just don't understand. She works hard to get rid of the tail, but nothing solves the problem. She even fakes being sick but to her dismay her mother lovingly pushes her out the door. After missing the bus, her father drives her to school. She fantasizes about joining the circus. Unfortunately, by the time her daydream is over, she's at school and must face her classmates with her tail. Luckily, she quickly finds out that maybe her tail isn't so bad and that everyone has unique characteristics. Boldt has done a hilarious job of presenting a common childhood fear. The fear of not belonging, not fitting in, shines through, despite the ridiculousness of Anya's situation. The illustrations are bright and colorful and fun to look at, Anya's facial expressions are especially amusing. I'm definitely using this one with my students.
Little Rabbit is excited to be heading off for his first day of school. He's so excited that he takes his favorite toy, Charlie Horse, with him. Unfortunately, this quickly turns out to be a bad idea as 'Charlie Horse' keeps getting him in trouble. He encourages Little Rabbit to eat his lunch early, to disrupt story time, make a mess of the cake batter, and getting lost on the nature walk. Can Little Rabbit find a way back to his class or change Charlie Horse's behavior? There is so much here that is reminiscent of childhood, especially the blaming someone else for one's own behavior. I like the idea of using this book to help children learn to take responsibility for their own actions. But it's also just a cute story on it's own and a great introduction to the idea of school.
Trust Adam Rex to right a story with a building as the main character. School is newly built and awaiting the first day of school. When Janitor tells him that children will be coming to fill him up, he isn't sure he likes the idea. As the day goes by the school deals with children who don't like school and a little girl who doesn't want to be there. He watches children at lunch and on the playground. He learns about shapes in kindergarten and is embarrassed when his fire alarm goes off. Once the day is over though and he has a chance to think about it, he realizes that he does indeed like the children and wants them to come back. I love the use of perspective here showing the first day of school from a point-of-view that I've never seen in a picture book before. This is not only a fun book to share on the first day of school, but it's a great book to use in talking about point-of-view. Robinson's illustrations are adorable and remind me a great deal of the schools I've attended over the years.
My favorite thing about this book is the clever illustrations. These three-dimensional collages clearly take a great deal of work to create and I appreciate all the cute little details. The story revolves around Milk's first day at school where she acts a little spoiled but doesn't want to admit it. Waffle though isn't afraid to point it out. But she still manages to make friends which shows up when she gets spilled. The use of puns and funny food references makes the story a bit funny while still making a point about the way we treat people.