From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2—Poydar once again tells a school story with a recognizable predicament. Delighted with her jazzy new pack on wheels and thrilled that she can finally put it to good use, Violet accepts her first homework assignment as though it were an offering from on high. But after insisting that her entire household accommodate her need for quiet, she is horrified to discover that the homework sheet is not in any of the compartments of her zippy pack. She proceeds to tell her mother that her work has been completed, but this lie escalates into others the following day. The girl's teacher gently extricates her from the unmanageable situation and turns it into a teachable moment about the value of telling the truth. Poydar's charming illustrations are bright and upbeat, and the repetition of certain sounds—"zip," "snap," "stick," "click"—will make this a catchy read-aloud. For discussions about honesty, combine this story with Patricia C. McKissack's The Honest-to-Goodness Truth
(S & S, 2000).—Gloria Koster, West School, New Canaan, CT
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Violet, eager for the new school year to begin, convinces her mother to buy her a fancy new backpack, complete with wheels, zippers, snaps, and straps. She’s sure it will come in handy when her new teacher, Ms. Patience, begins giving homework. But when the homework arrives, Violet spends so much time deciding which pocket will be best for transporting the paper that she accidentally leaves the assignment at school. Poydar, a former teacher who has created numerous picture books about elementary school life, is right on target with Violet’s concerns, and she presents Ms. Patience’s lesson to Violet (concerning the importance of being honest and owning up to mistakes) in a gentle way that won’t be lost on young readers. Brightly colored gouache-and-pencil illustrations add a warm, friendly touch to this reassuring story that will be useful for beginning-school-year story sessions and as a character-education discussion starter. Preschool-Grade 2. --Kay Weisman