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Rufus Goes to School Hardcover – August 6, 2013
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Rufus Leroy Williams III longs to learn to read, and he knows just the place to go to make it happen. All he needs is a backpack and his favorite book and he is ready to hop on the bus to school. There is just one snag in his grand scheme: he is a pig. Pigs are not allowed in school, Principal Lipid informs him, because they are messy and distracting and start food fights in the cafeteria. Rufus is disheartened but not discouraged. He returns again with other items that might better prepare him for school and promises to be on his best behavior. "Makes no difference," the principal intones. Suddenly inspired, Rufus relates that his true passion is to learn to read his favorite book. Finally the principal is convinced and leads him into the classroom. Rufus is overjoyed, reveling in every aspect of the school day, most of all storytime, which allows him to dream. With lively illustrations and a determined, endearing protagonist, this is a perfect pick for back-to-school programs. Children will love this intrepid pink hero.-Jasmine L. Precopio, Fox Chapel Area School District, Pittsburgh, PAα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Does Rufus Leroy Williams III ever want to go to school! Sure, he is a piglet, but he has got a beloved picture book, and he wants to be able to read it. After observing human students, he figures out what he needs to be admitted: a backpack! Suitably backpacked, Rufus is taken before the principal, who shuts him down. “Because pigs track mud in the halls,” he says. “They play leapfrog in class, and they start food fights in the cafeteria.” Next Rufus acquires a lunch box and then a nap-time blanket, but the principal maintains that pigs disrupt school in a dozen different ways. It is only when Rufus reveals that he wants to learn to read that the principal reconsiders. Griswell’s list of imagined pig offenses is hilariously random (apparently pigs like to knock over block towers, leave nose prints on the windows, etc.), and each trespass is painted by Gorbachev with a maximum of pink, potbellied cuteness. The final pages take an odd sidestep into the inspirational, but otherwise this is a pure porcine pleasure. Preschool-Grade 1. --Daniel Kraus