From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1–Emily and her classmates are back, and children follow them throughout their kindergarten year through charming vignettes and enchanting illustrations. Each oversized spread offers a learning experience, whether readers are singing number songs with Emily and Diane Duck, making Valentine cakes with Emily and her mother, or hearing about the voting process. " 'We vote,' says Grandpa, 'in order to try and make more good things than bad things happen in our world.'" Miss Cribbage inspires her students to learn about the world around them in innovative ways. For example, the class creates a "Museum of Things" where they put tiny treasures or waylaid pieces into boxes that they label as animal, vegetable, or mineral. The corresponding photographs of the items against a stark white background face humorous pictures of students dressed as an animal, mineral, or vegetable. The book is lighthearted and full of caring detail, warm expressions, and explosions of color. In addition to being about that wonderful first year of school, Kindergarten
serves as a celebration of family and community, reminding readers that the school day extends far beyond the borders of the classroom walls. This is Wells at her best.–Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY
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*Starred Review* PreS-K. With Wells' signature blend of tenderness, realism, and fun, this large picture book packs in a wealth of information, story, and playful rhyme about the first year of school. Much more than the usual short, welcoming introduction to the classroom, this is a detailed overview of things to learn and exciting goings-on, both at school and at home. Emily, the small rabbit from the counting book Emily's First 100 Days of School
(2000), describes how she and her animal classmates learn from their kind teacher. Each double-page spread introduces one subject--from time and measurement to words, music, patterns, and fascinating stuff about science, geography, and community. The class celebrates Columbus Day, Thanksgiving (everyone gives thanks for something), Christmas, and Kwanzaa (no Ramadan, though), and through the seasons the children reach out from their school on Cranberry Island, Maine, to places across the world. The pupils are reminiscent of Wells' beloved picture-book characters in their expressions and fusion of animal and human body language, and Wells has made room for individual differences (Roger the puppy doesn't want
to widen his horizons) and for failure (Emily messes up in math, but she's thrilled when she overcomes her fear and recites a simple poem). So many uses for teachers; fun for children; and great for parent-child sharing. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved