Top positive review
129 people found this helpful
A book for every child starting school
on July 18, 2001
Looking at this book from the point of view of an adult, I didn't get it. The illustrations are decent, but nothing spectacular. The rhymes are not particularly inventive. And not much happens in the book, which simply shows a teacher getting her classroom ready for the first day of kindergarten, while students are getting ready in their own way - eating breakfast, saying good-bye (or clinging to mom), getting on the bus, and so forth. It's also an alphabet book. Each child in the class has a name that begins with a different letter of the alphabet. But there are hundreds of alphabet books on the market, I thought, and many of them are more clever or better illustrated than this one.
Boy, was I wrong. I got this book out of the library the summer before my daughter started kindergarten. She was a little nervous about starting. She's the type of kid who wants to stand back and observe every situation before she plunges in. That made her the perfect kid for this book. While we had it out of the library, she asked me to read it several times every day. I ended up buying a copy of the book before returning the library copy, because it would have broken her heart to be without it.
My daughter just finished kindergarten, and I have read this book literally hundreds of times. She still loves it, and I think I've finally figured out why it's so appealing. At the beginning of the book, you see a dark, empty, slightly scary looking classroom. For a child who's afraid of starting school, I think that's a pretty good image of her expectation. But a nice teacher comes in and adds blocks, play kitchen toys, mobiles, paint and brushes, posters, crayons and pencils, etc. and turns the classroom into a beautiful, inviting place. Little by little a child learns to see the classroom as a good place to be. Also, as the teacher adds each new thing, it gives the child a chance to see and talk about some of the new things she will discover when she gets there.
This book has already become a classic. It was the first book my daughter's kindergarten teacher read to the class (from talking to other parents, I've discovered that's true in a LOT of classes). And hearing a familiar and adored book the first day of school added to my daughter's sense of comfort.
If you have a child who has any apprehension about starting school, this book is probably the best tool available for helping him or her overcome it.