February 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex | SLJ Review

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redstarRex, Adam. School’s First Day of School. illus. by Christian Robinson. 40p. Roaring Brook. Jun. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781596439641. School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex

PreS-Gr 1 –Step aside, other first day of school books: there’s a new school in town. After construction and a summer of tender loving care from the janitor, Frederick Douglass Elementary’s first day finally arrives. And what a day it is: hordes of children with all their feelings, mess, noise, new concepts, and even a fire alarm (which the school finds deeply embarrassing). Worried but curious, impetuous, and vulnerable, the school works as a perfect proxy for nervous child readers. Rex’s warm and goofy text is brought to life by Robinson’s vivid collage illustrations. His signature round-headed, tulip-handed figures are diverse and appealing, from the supportive janitor to the “little girl with freckles” who slowly warms up to school at the same time that the school is warming up to the children. VERDICT A+: an essential purchase that is simultaneously funny, frank, and soothing. A perfect first day read-aloud.–Sarah Stone, San Francisco Public Library

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

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