November 18, 2017

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Ming Goes to School by Deirdre Sullivan | SLJ Review

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redstarSullivan, Deirdre. Ming Goes to School. illus. by Maja Löfdahl. 32p. Sky Pony. Jul. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781510700505. Ming Goes to School by Deirdre Sullivan

PreS-Gr 2 –A sweet and spare text introduces a preschool girl named Ming on her first day of school. A vibrant and multiethnic cast of children share and grow with Ming throughout the year. The seasons shift subtly, as conveyed through the changing artwork of the students, displayed on a classroom window in softly burnished tones with fuzzy, rather than sharp, lines. Ming’s school is where “magic fairy castles are built from sticks…/and growing up takes time.” A thoughtful teacher watches a pensive Ming as she observes the other students on the big red slide—not ready to join them. The narrative ends with the declaration, “It’s where all things…/Are worth waiting for,” and the final spread shows Ming leaving her backpack behind as she runs toward the red slide, ready to give it a try. The symbiotic nature of the text and diffuse watercolors carries this quiet offering, distinguishing it from other school stories and making it one that should be shared. VERDICT This beautiful tale with gentle illustrations is an ode to the milestone of attending school for the first time and all it entails.–Lisa Kropp, Lindenhurst Memorial Library, NY

This review is published in School Library Journal’s August 2016 issue.

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