Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on January 17, 2019
I bought this book for my friends' 2.5 year old, and now she asks me for the Classmates book every time I walk in the door, and we'll read it at least three times in a row.

Some pages are still boring for her, and we'll skip ahead to the good parts. She's still confusing "How many teeth will they have?" with "How many T-Rexes do you see?" But she can spell out all of the words and learned from this book about punctuation ("That's not a letter i, that's an exclamation point!")

It even makes space for some more complex topics. She was able to recognize right away, from the facial expression, when Penelope was sad. But when she went on to sing T-Rex needed a band-aid, we got to talk about emotional hurts versus physical hurts. She talks to a parent about emotional hurts, and then gets to have a bandage later for a physical hurt.

The don't hurt other people because you're afraid of getting hurt yourself was not quite as ideal a message as hurting other people is just not good and kind, but it's one of many ways we are approaching the conversation.

Now for the reason I took one star off. I bought this book because it was praised for having a diverse set of classmates, and it does. But only three of them have names, and she wants to go through all of them before ending with her favorite (the white girl with brown hair who looks like her). And in the list of kids who don't have name's, I'm stuck with describing them: there's Griffin Emrys (white boy in a striped shirt), there's the kid in a blue dress with glasses who was shaking a fist at the dinosaur, and there's the little black child with his hair trimmed flat, and there's a kid who might be of Indian descent wearing a shirt, and there's William Omoto (drawn with horizonal eyes and a white shirt with a necktie), and there's a cute little black girl with the afropuffs, and there's a little Jewish kid with a yarmulke (which probably, but not definitely, means he's a boy), and there's a girl in a dress and a hijab so she's probably Muslim, and fiiiiinallly there's CeCe! Basically, of the 12 classmates 4 are drawn with lighter complexions and only from those four do you get the 3 named characters.

Now there are cubbies in the background with names, so if there's a guide for matching those names to the children, please feel free to reply to this review and point me to which names go with which other kids.
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4.9 out of 5 stars
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