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I Am NOT Going to School Today! Hardcover – July 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-As in Goodbye Mousie (McElderry, 2001), a book about the loss of a pet, Harris and Ormerod successfully combine simplicity with sensitivity to take on another emotionally stressful situation-facing the first day of school. After packing his knapsack and choosing his clothes for the next morning, a young boy feels ready for just about anything. However, once the lights are out, he clutches Hank, his stuffed monkey, and begins to worry. Before breakfast, he declares that he intends to stay home, "Because on the very first day of school, you don't know anything!" His parents patiently address his concerns, which include not being familiar with the routine and a reluctance to leave Hank behind, and Mom comes up with the idea of taking the monkey along. Once the child is settled in Mr. Chase's classroom, all of his questions are answered and his fears are put to rest. Told from the youngster's point of view, this story is filled with details that will strike a chord with children. The vivid illustrations done in black pencil line and watercolor washes feature simple yet elegantly drawn characters. The bright colors of their clothing contrast neatly with the white backgrounds. The artwork extends the text, as the pictures show the narrator meeting another equally tentative child who is holding on just as tightly to his teddy bear; by day's end, the two are fast friends. A reassuring anecdote for those beginning-of-the-year jitters.
Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

PreS-K. The first day of school is a daunting prospect, best avoided. For starters, how's a kid supposed to know the names of the other kids, where the crayons are, or what kind of juice might be available? And how could a person possibly leave his or her favorite toy monkey at home all by itself? The boy protagonist in Harris' winning first-day-of-school tale decides the night before class that he will not go to school but will instead wait until the second day, when there aren't so many unanswered questions. With a bit of gentle prodding, however, his parents finally get him to school--but not without the company of his sidekick monkey, Hank. Once there, of course, the experience is happily demystified, and he learns everything there is to know about kids, crayons, juice, and more. Children with first-day jitters will take comfort in this story, which shows that the first day of school can actually be fun. Ormerod's colorful, expressive illustrations capture a child's anxiety and the warmth of family with equal success. Karin Snelson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; Repackage edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689839138
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689839139
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #480,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Oleanna on July 5, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This sensitive portrayal of a child with the willies over starting school is an engaging story in itself and will also bolster the resolve of young ones approaching their own first days at preschool or kindergarten. The little boy in this expressively illustrated book seems not to have had the opportunity to visit his classroom in advance, or meet his teacher, but evidently is already familiar with preschool routines.
The night before school starts, he decides definitely NOT to go for his first day. As he explains to his tenderly respectful parents the morning of the big day, he won't know anything on the first day, ". . . all the kids' names, or which cubby is your cubby, or where the crayons are, or what kind of juice they have, or if they have crackers -at all!" Not knowing any of the songs, `or when it's story time, or where the toilet is, or if you can play in the rain. " are troubling too, and besides, how will his stuffed monkey manage without him?
After dad's good blueberry pancakes, and her son's temporary retreat under the kitchen table, mom sensibly suggests, as departure time presses, that Hank the stuffed monkey go along, and so he does. Hank is introduced to the teacher and, through the course of an appealing, active day, all the essential information is imparted. The pictures carry most of the rest of the story, showing children comfortably enjoying themselves at school. Nervousness overcome, our bright, endearing little hero (and Hank) plan to return the next day.
The publisher gauges this book appropriate for 4-8 year olds, but it will be appreciated by three year olds too, for years to come.
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Format: Hardcover
My four year old son has attended a pre-school curriculum formatted program for two years but he seemed to relate to the child in this story. We both liked the expressiveness of the child and the words and concepts were very easy for him to follow.

In the story, the child is apprehensive about the first day of school because he won't know where anything is or what the rules are. His parents coax him into going and he discovers that his teachers will help him learn where things are and what the rules are.

This book would be a good way to ease into a conversation with a 4 or 5 year old child about anxiety over the first day of school.
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