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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Off to First Grade Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689873956
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689873959
  • Product Dimensions: 12.1 x 9.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1–3—Mrs. Miller's 23 incoming first graders—plus the principal, bus driver, and the teacher herself—tell readers what they look forward to on the first day of school. The animal characters have snapshots taken, enjoy riding the bus and having new school supplies, can't wait to play sports, and are encouraged by grandparents, parents, and older siblings. Only two youngsters are fearful or worried about what the day will bring. The adults are upbeat and express their hopes for a great new school year. The quirky watercolor cartoons are humorous and expressive, differentiating the characters and adding fun details. The alphabetic sequence of animals calls to mind Joseph Slate's Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten (Dutton, 1996), but Off to First Grade lets the characters offer much more detailed ruminations about their first-day expectations.—Lynne Mattern, Robert Seaman School, Jericho, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In this cheerful collection of poems, a group of young animal characters prepare for their first day in first grade at Elm School Elementary. On each spread, different speakers describe their morning preparations: Claire, a floppy-eared dog, smiles excitedly while her dad takes a picture; Polly, a striped tabby, receives a good-luck penny from her mom; Henry, a fuzzy bear, can’t wait to use the new art supplies in his classroom. Not every student is excited. Yoshi, a long-eared rabbit, says, “I wish I was going / back to kindergarten.” And new immigrant Ignacio, a lion cub, holds his father’s hand and anxiously practices his English. Each poem’s lines are short and direct and have a conversational meter that will read aloud well, and Rankin’s expressive paint-and-pencil illustrations expertly amplify the emotions, from shy apprehension to eager anticipation. Young students will recognize both the range of feelings and the diversity of families represented in this warm offering that concludes with cheerleading from the principal: “We’re all ready to begin / the best school year ever.” Preschool-Grade 1. --Gillian Engberg

More About the Author

Born (Oct 30,1949) and raised in Cincinnati, I have lived in Ohio my entire life except for two years in Massachusetts right after I was married. Growing up in an old house on a steep street, I attended a small elementary school called Lotspeich. There, all the marvelous shelves of books in the library shaped me into a lifelong reader. So it is a thrill for me to know that some of my books are being read by children in other libraries all over the country.

Before I became a full-time writer and speaker, I taught preschoolers and first graders and was even a part-owner of a bookstore in Cincinnati.

Today, it is hard for me to separate my writing from the way I live my life. My own family, personal experiences, and friendships, as well as a love of history and travel, have rich and lasting connections to the books I write. The first impulse to write a book is always triggered by something that has touched me indelibly.

In addition to my writing, my work in schools allows me to travel the incredible variety of landscape in Ohio, and meet the heart of its people. I have spoken in over 400 schools across the country, but mostly in Ohio. Because of this, I now have lifelong friends in communities from mighty Cleveland to small-town Greenville.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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It is a very well illustrated book and a definite keeper for your kids.
Marla
The author, Louise Borden did a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life and I think most children will find a particular character to identify with.
Judith Miller
This book would be great to read to that child who is beginning first grade.
Judy Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If a youngster is feeling trepidation about taking the big step from kindergarten into first grade, here is a cheerfully imagined chronicle of the thoughts and words of 23 students who will be in Mrs. Miller's class at Elm school.

Youngsters are mentioned alphabetically, so we begin with Anna who tells her little brother, Ray that she will bring home a lot of books to read to him. Dee waits for the big yellow bus and hugs his mom good-bye.

Ignacio is not only going to a new school but he's also in a new country. Although he met his teacher and the principal last week he still holds tight to his papa's hand as he practices his English.

Ramon's fifth grade sister puts a blue dot on his right hand so he will remember to turn right not left at the end of Elm school's long hall.

Positive traits are emphasized in the brief experience of each new first grader - from helpfulness, to reassurance to friendship.

- Gail Cooke
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on July 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What a nicely done read-a-long book. I have to classify this one as a read-a-long as it is probably at too high a reading level for beginning first graders, and that is for whom the book has been written. This is good though, as it will give the parent or the teacher plenty of opportunity to discuss those important first days at school, and it will most certainly introduce the children to some new, not too complicated words.

Off to First Grade by Louise Borden and illustrated by Joan Rankin, is a well done, attractive piece of work. The book follows a new class of first grade students on their first day of school, starting at home. The characters are critters of various sorts, rabbits, dogs, cats, lions and other creatures, appropriately dressed for school. The author features each child, in alphabetical order, starting at home, then to the school buss, or via car, or walking, or by car, and then school. They meet their teacher get to know their teacher and become familiar with the school.

The book is large and the print used is quite readable...no squinting here. The text fits perfectly with the wonderful illustrations by Rankin. Each picture is done in gentle, non-threatening colors which show plenty of action and are well executed. I like both the writer's style and that of the artist. Animals are always a sure hook for children. You can get hour upon hour of conversation from them just by standing in front of a first grade class and saying "cat" or "dog" or "pet bird." You will be absolutely smothered with pet stories. I substitute teach, being retired, and a book like this is a wonderful thing for me. The animals featured here are cute and loveable. I love their various expressions and the artist has used eyes to express them very effectively.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Louise Borden has written a fun superb book for children of all ages. The story is written from the children's, teacher, school bus driver and Principal's viewpoint. Each person gives their story in clear and concise language. Joan Rankin illustrates this book. What vivid and colorful characters inhabit this book. So what if they are animals, they talk like first graders and teachers. The entire package welcomes each reader.

All parents and teachers are well aware of the first day of school and the anxiety it produces. The students themselves help prepare the way with words directly from their mouth. Mrs. Miller, the teacher, has each student's name written out and it appears she has memorized their names, so she will know them all. The school bus driver, Xavier, welcomes each first grader and lets them know he has x-ray vision and can see any monkey business on the bus. He likes the first day. Mr. Zimmerman is the principal and he says everyone will receive an A+ today. He wonders what book will he read to the first grade class today. What do you think he will read?

One of my favorite first graders is Ignacio. He is an immigrant and just came to the United States. He understands that Mrs Miller will help him learn English and he has memorized her name. Another favorite is Otto, his grandmother bought him new red sneakers and he thinks she is wonderful. Nina gets a special treat, her grandfather is visiting and he walks her to school. He went to first grade sixty years ago and this is an anniversary of sorts for him. What a special day for all of these children.

'Off To First Grade' is a special book for children and their parents who are experiencing this wonderful event. The cameras and video machines will be in great supply to record this event.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kattepusen on August 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What a find! I loved this book about the scary start of school - great illustrations too! Read this with your child several times before the Big Day!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Oh on August 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I must admit that I was a bit skeptical when I received the book. After all, who would be interested in reading (or to be read) about a bunch of first graders??? Well... My kids (a 3year old girl and a 5 year old boy)!!!
1. My 3year old daughter loves the book and she constantly asks me to read the book for her. And my 5year old son asks questions about being a 1st grader, since he will be attending the school soon as Kindergartner.
2. They both love the illustrations, it is indeed well done. The drawings are likable and richly colorful.
3. They both like to be read with animated voices when different 1st grade character is introduced in the book. It seems to hold their interest longer.
4. One definite positive about the book is that, it seems to encourage the kids to anticipate the school with positive attitude.

Additionally, the physical book itself is well made. The book is stitched (smyth sewn) and NOT glued, therefore it will last a long time. The pages are strong and durable. DJ (dust jacket) is also fine addition to protect the book further.

In all, my kids love it and the book is well made. Highly recommended!
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