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Thursday Three: Back to School

Posted by Pam on August 20, 2009 at 10:41 AM in Picture BooksRecommendations
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With the end of summer upon us (Wahhhh!), here are some going-to-school picture books.

Splat the Cat,
by Rob Scotton

Splat the CatA fun, clever book that will be appreciated by a wide range of readers. Scotton, of Russell the Sheep fame, brings his humorous and fantastically off-beat illustrations to the world of cats — plus a mouse. Splat is worried about his first day at Cat School. If you’re not sure that he’s really worried, look at his big, wide eyes. He tries to hide, and stall, and even hang onto the gate, but his mom gets him to school. There he learns that cats chase mice. Hold it! Splat has a pet mouse! That he brought to school! This isn’t going to be good for anybody. But of course it is, and all the cats learn a new lesson. All-around wonderful book.

Jake Starts School
by Michael Wright

Jake Starts SchoolWhen we last saw Jake, his parents were trying to get him to sleep by going everywhere around the house with him. Well, Jake is still having separation issues at school, where he cannot let go of his parents. He literally clings to them through the whole day, making the seesaw hard and bathroom breaks impossible. The teacher is finally able to engage him with a book with the same name as his dog, and Jake finds his school groove. Bright and wacky illustrations fit the silly — and sometimes strained — rhyming text. (“There it was, Room Number 1/where Jake would join his class./It looked so big, he felt so small,/he passed a little gas.”) I can't call this my favorite book, but kids will enjoy the silly take on starting school.

Keisha Ann Can!
by Daniel Kirk

Keisha Ann Can!This isn’t Keisha Ann’s first day at school, but she shows how it’s done with cheer and confidence. She catches the bus, waits in line, passes out paints, shares with classmates, and takes turns. This book represents an interesting — and needed — approach to going-to-school literature by focusing on the positive. I also liked that the girl was African-American, as I would like to see more children of color in books. Newest reports say that 44 percent of children in the United States are now minorities. Perhaps we might want to show more of them in books. Not just for them, but so all children can see kids of different races featured in stories. Keisha Ann Can! is simple in language, making it best for the preschool or first day of kindergarten crowd.


Mary Ann writes...

What a great list - I love the diversity, and the humor of these titles - great new ideas to add to our collection! thank you!

Doret writes...

I love the Scotton books. Keisha Ann Can is a great book.

Magali writes...

Thank you for suggesting the "Keisha Ann Can" book. I just picked it up from the library and it is absolutely wonderful. Perfect for encouraging my 6 year old as she gets ready for the new school year and great to see children of color. The message of the book is positive in letting kids know how they can interact and learn in school.

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