From School Library Journal
PreSchool-K—An African-American child and her classmates make their way through a day at school. Full of enthusiasm and smiles, Keisha Ann accomplishes all of her activities with élan, as the rhyming text asks a series of "Who can..." questions and reiterates, "Keisha Ann can!" The poetry is catchy and upbeat: "Who can count her coins/and count again in case she's wrong?/Who can play marimba/as she sings the sweetest song?" Gouache paintings done in a striking, childlike style are filled with motion and color. The characters, who represent a variety of cultural backgrounds, are outlined in darker lines and set against brightly hued backgrounds. The images are clear and crisp, making the book ideal for sharing aloud. The story ends on a positive, all-inclusive note: "Who can learn,/and work,/and play,/and make her dreams/come true?/Keisha Ann can/do these things,/and YOU can do them, too!" Although there are many positive picture books about school, this one is special because its heroine is shown ready to tackle anything with grace and confidence.—Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
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Keisha Ann is a bright, motivated little girl who has found the perfect outlet for all her energy—school! For Keisha Ann, school is a place of empowerment where she constantly achieves—even when she fails. As they chant the repeated refrain, “Keisha Ann can!” little ones follow the girl from the moment she boards the school bus to her triumphant disembarkation at the end of a busy day. The clean, fresh gouache illustrations reinforce the idea that school can be a place for a child to shine, which comes clear even without the message spelled out at the end: “Keisha Ann can do these things / and YOU can do them, too!” This chipper, colorful rhyming book reveals the pleasures waiting for children preparing to enter school as well as successfully reminding those already there of the accomplishments they have to be proud of as they continue to learn. Preschool-Grade 1. --Kara Dean