From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2—Emily is heading off for her first day of school, and she insists that her mother stays with her. "Forever!" "I promise….And a promise is a promise. I'll stay at school for a million gazillion years with my Emily right on my lap." Mrs. Beekman is true to her word. Even when her daughter discovers that school is actually a fun place, the woman won't leave. Teacher Sue nicely but firmly insists repeatedly that it's time for all adults to go home, but Mrs. Beekman is not deterred. She resorts to disguising herself as a coatrack and, on subsequent days, as a big purple hat, green dog, yellow bird, and oversize hula hoop. Finally, Emily kindly convinces her mother that she wants to be in school by herself. Careful readers will note that Mrs. Beekman's disguises match items Emily mentions in the book's first pages. The illustrations work perfectly with the text. The characters' facial expressions are spot-on, and Carrington captures the feel of kindergarten, the love between Emily and her mother, and a child's first steps toward independence. This enjoyable if slightly familiar tale would work well for one-on-one sharing or storytime.—Catherine Callegari, Gay-Kimball Library, Troy, NH
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In a hilarious reversal of the starting-school panic, Emily Beekman makes her mother promise to stay with her in her preschool classroom, but when Mrs. Beekman does stay and stay, Emily cannot get rid of the hovering, embarrassing, silly grown-up. The story’s fun is in the details, and the clear, neon-colored comic scenarios show the child reaching out, bonding with her teacher, finding friends, and enjoying the play, whether she is making monster cartoons, learning songs, or climbing the jungle gym. Still, Mommy will not go home: “A promise is a promise,” and her appearances in class are increasingly wild: she dresses up in a big green dog suit, pretends to be a coatrack, and even dangles from a helicopter over the playground. Finally, Emily makes her own promise that she will have a wonderful day, without Mommy. Full of love and nonsense, this picture book nicely captures a young child’s dramatic, first-school-day feelings. Preschool. --Hazel Rochman