From Publishers Weekly
With a warm familial tone and gentle humor Rankin (Wow! It's Great Being a Duck) addresses the anxiety many children feel on the first day of school. Young Haybillybun protesteth plenty when his first day at Yappy Puppy Play School arrives. He's convinced he'll have a difficult time ("I've got scary eyes! Nobody will play with me!"; "I've got slip-slidey-fluffy feet.... I'll fall off the jungle gym"). But Mom and Dad provide reassuring solutions to all his concerns and Mom walks Haybillybun to his classroom. As Mom passes the morning at home without Haybillybun around, however, she suddenly feels a pang and rushes to the school to "rescue" her son. And to her pleasant surprise, Haybillybun doesn't need saving; he's having a blast, playing and painting with his new friends. Rankin refreshes a familiar theme by employing colorful names and phrases and by giving her characters realistic personalities and dialogue. Her delicately hued watercolors, predominantly green, blue and purple, contain the kind of entertaining and cozy detail Mom's cookie-adorned apron and dog-bone hat, a quaint dog-populated village, Haybillybun's "rock'n'roll" sunglasses that will draw in readers straightaway. Ages 4-7.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Haybillybun is nervous about going to Yappy Puppy Play School for the first time. He pulls the covers over his head and tries to hide when his mother comes to rouse him for breakfast. He invents all sort of excuses as to why the other students won't like him, ranging from his "horrible fuzzy ears" to his "scary eyes" or his extra-long name. His parents try to reassure him, to no avail. After dropping him off, his mother goes home to her chores, but begins to wonder if her baby is old enough to be in school. She races back to rescue him, and predictably sees him playing with his classmates and obviously having a good time. The illustrations appear to be a combination of watercolors and colored pencils, and are soft and soothing, allowing the text to stand out in this straightforward tale. Kevin Henkes's Wemberly Worried (Greenwillow, 2000) is a stronger title dealing with the subject. Consider First Day an additional purchase for libraries in need of titles about starting school.Lisa Gangemi Krapp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.