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First Day Jitters (Mrs. Hartwells classroom adventures) Paperback – February 1, 2000
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-Sarah is hiding under her covers as Mr. Hartwell asks, "You don't want to miss the first day at your new school do you?" From under the blanket she replies, "I'm not going." When he reminds her how much she liked her other school and asks her to think of all the new friends she'll meet, she imagines a classroom where a paper airplane is flying, a boy is pulling his neighbor's pigtail, and another is blowing a gigantic bubble. Mr. Hartwell finally gets Sarah to stumble out of bed, eat a bit of toast, and get into the car where she slumps down into her seat. At school, the principal cheerfully welcomes her and takes her to the classroom where she is introduced as "Mrs. Sarah Jane Hartwell," the new teacher. There is a bit of foreshadowing that Sarah is an adult, but as she is always partially hidden, the ending will come as a surprise to most readers. The ink-and-watercolor illustrations are full of action and maintain the lighthearted tone. A little subplot in the paintings shows the family cat and dog having their own contest of wills while their owner is trying to get his wife up and out. The joke provides a good laugh and children may find it reassuring that they are not alone in their anxieties about new situations.
Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
Danneberg puts a fresh twist on an annual crisis suffered by millions: the arrival of that dread day in September when school starts. The alarm rings, but Sarah Jane Hartwell just burrows deeper into her covers, announcing that shes not going, wailing `` `I dont know anybody, and it will be hard, and . . . I just hate it, thats all.' '' Finally, Mr. Hartwell firmly orders her down to breakfast, puts her in the car and drops her off to join the children flooding through the school doors. Love fills the sharply detailed illustrations with happy, individually distinct faces, vividly capturing the fateful mornings hubbub and, aside from a few hints for the sharp-eyed, artfully setting viewers up for the climactic revelation that Sarah Jane is not a student, but a teacher. Many children will be amazed at the idea that teachers get butterflies too, especially if theyve been exposed to the hyper-efficient protagonist of Joseph Slates Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready For Kindergarten (1996). (Picture book. 6-8) -- Copyright ©2000, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
Top customer reviews
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This book has been great for him. Not only does it help him work his way through his worries about starting school, it has some smaller words that he can sound out and help read. This alone has been great for his self confidence.
Sarah Jane Hartwell reminds me of myself who was also nervous going to a brand new school. She was scared and frightened that she wouldn't know anyone just like me. Going somewhere new is always a little scary, especially on your first day of school. Coming to Las Palmas I was nervous and scared. I didn't want to get out of bed, just like Sarah. However, once I got to school I couldn't have been more excited.
I really enjoyed the way this story illustrated the character in a nervous way. I would give this story a 10 out of 10 because it is a story that everyone can connect with. So before you try something new, I recommend you read this story!