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Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? Hardcover – June 22, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K—As the title indicates, this is a silly book about the first day of kindergarten with one's own buffalo. The analogy here is that kids react and behave differently, and that there is a place for all of them in school. The story prompts readers to remind the buffalo that finger painting is fun and it's okay to get messy; those hooves could create a masterpiece. Buffaloes (and children) learn how to get along without using their horns. "Cooperating and taking turns are both Very Big Deals in kindergarten." This wacky picture book, with its bold cartoonlike illustrations of a buffalo that snorts, dances, and makes faces, may help apprehensive youngsters to be more at ease about going to school. "Everyone's special in his or her own way. That's the kind of thing you learn in kindergarten." Vernick's amusing tale will prove handy as a first-day-of-school book recommendation for children and teachers alike.—Lindsay Persohn, Crystal Lake Elementary, Lakeland, FL
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From Booklist

Gearing up for the first day of kindergarten can be a stressful affair, but the base-level implausibility of this book should add some laughs while reassuring children that they are, in fact, ready for the big leap into school. By transferring the subject from a child to “your buffalo,” the book dodges preachiness as it lays out some nice lessons about what to expect. Chalky drawings of a big cartoony buffalo show that although he may be the only kid in class with a mane, horns, and a hump, there’s all sorts of things that make him unique and special. Just the thing to calm those night-before nerves. Ed: OK in Older Readers? Preschool-Kindergarten. --Ian Chipman
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer & Bray; 1 edition (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006176275X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061762758
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Audrey Vernick writes fiction and nonfiction for kids and teens. A two-time recipient of the New Jersey Arts Council's fiction fellowship, Audrey lives near the ocean with her husband, son, daughter, and two dogs.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Brimful Curiosities on September 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A big, backpack wearing buffalo makes his way to kindergarten for the very first time, walking hand-in-hand with his friend, a little girl in pigtails. His teacher looks slightly worried about her newest bovine student, but buffalo eventually wins her over along with his classmates. Even though he is shy at first and looks different from everyone else, he tries to do his very best. No, he doesn't exactly fit in -- he eats the schools flowers, smashes a little chair, gets carried away painting, and regurgitates his food (ew!) -- but he is a good role model otherwise. Buffalo follows all those important rules of kindergarten like caring and sharing and teaches his classmates that "everyone's special in his or her own way."

What I love about this book is the lighthearted tone and the creative text. It's only natural that some kids will be a little anxious on the first day of school, but Vernick cleverly uses a hilarious and big character to help alleviate their fears. Obviously a buffalo could never attend school, yet Vernick makes it seem that it really could happen, especially since the book addresses the reader personally. This out-of-place character grabs your attention and makes his way into your heart.

Jennewein's illustrative style pairs wonderfully with Vernick's story. He uses a black caran d'ache pencil to create a crayon outline look that's perfect for a book about kindergarten. With muted, soft colors and effective use of white space, the layout of the book is crisp and clean. And, I adore how the comical characters make you smile. I mean, just look at that buffalo -- isn't he the cutest, cuddliest, big and lumbering animal you've ever seen? In my book, he's right up there with the lovable Snuffleupagus from Sesame Street! The page where the buffalo is finger painting always makes my daughter laugh, but I think one of the funniest illustrations is on the title page -- the buffalo is head-butting the bus.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Linda Joplin on June 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have a child ready for kindergarten in the next few years, you should check out this book! It touches on all the jitters that young children have when they start school, and the illustrations are amusing and heart-warming! Great children's book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tony McManus on July 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With two little ones headed for kg, this book was an adorable and timely addition to our bedtime reading ritual. Aimed at allaying the fears of pre-schoolers making the big step up, I found it was every bit as comforting for me!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amy Hill Hearth on June 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I love this book. It's playful and charming. A great way to open a discussion with your little ones about what to expect in kindergarten. I plan to buy it for all of the "graduating" pre-schoolers in my extended family.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BermudaOnion VINE VOICE on July 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
If you know a little one getting ready to start school, you definitely need to check out Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? by Audrey Vernick. This adorable book explores some of the fears a youngster might face before beginning school and lets them know that it's not always easy to start something new.

This picture book shows pre-schoolers that they don't need to know how to do everything before they start school, because they're going to school to learn new skills and improve some others. They'll also see that it's okay to get messy or frustrated. The best part of the book, though, is that it tells pre-schoolers that "everyone's special in his or her own way."

Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? has delightful illustrations by Daniel Jennewein. The buffalo is as cute as he can be and I'm happy to see the students in the book are diverse. I love flipping through this book just to look at the wonderful pictures!

I recommend Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? as a gift or an addition to your own pre-schooler's library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Even Buffaloes can go to kindergarten. Sure, they might not know how to use scissors yet, might find it hard to make friends or be an extremely messy painter, but that's okay! Everyone's special in his or her own way. That's the main message of this very funny book that will not only do a great job of easing those pre-kindergarten jitters, but also bring on the big laughs even if kindergarten is still a year or two away. The illustrations are very funny - the picture of the buffalo trying to use scissors is the best! The text stays firmly planted on the funny side of things, delivering it's gentle message that kindergarten is a great place, but not sacrificing any of the jokes that really make this story flow. From buffalo's struggles with the no grazing rule to the end where the buffalo now doesn't want to leave, this book is a treat for back to school time or anytime! Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sweet on Books on January 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
* This is a simply delightful book about individuality.
* This would make a terrific first day of school book, but it would be a shame to limit it to only that time of year.
* Its message of identity is important any time of year.
* The illustrations are so charming, who knew a buffalo could be so appealing?

"Some people say kindergarten is no place for a buffalo. How crazy is that?"

So begins this entertaining story about how we all have our own special place in this world - horn or no horns. How great is that message? The brilliance of this picture book is that it is a hilarious and appropriate lesson in identity without being preachy. Children will delight in all the paces this buffalo is put through as a new kindergartener. Will your buffalo be able to use scissors? Will your buffalo be able to go on the swings? Maybe - maybe not. But no matter what, "Everyone is special in his or her own way."

Again, this is a perfect story for the first day, but don't leave it for only that day. This book can be enjoyed any time of year for pure pleasure or if your classroom or home community is in need of a little lesson in tolerance.
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