Stanley the Dog: The First Day of School

HarperCollins. Jul. 2022. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780063039520.
PreS-K–It is the first day of school, and Stanley the bulldog is not excited about going. Stanley has no appetite for breakfast, and he ends up stumbling off the bus with the other students. Luckily, there is a nice cat who helps Stanley navigate the challenges of his first day, befriending him despite his uneasiness. Upon arriving home, Stanley is able to relax and settle in, only to realize with disappointment that he has another school day ahead of him tomorrow. This lighthearted picture book convincingly captures the many emotions that come with a child’s first day of school and presents them in a way that is at once comfortingly familiar and distant enough to reflect upon. Stanley is nervous, but he is also desperate to prove his skills to his new teacher and classmates, just as many children are when entering school. Digitally rendered illustrations depict a variety of dogs within a familiar school setting, which adds to the charm of this comical tale. Bright colors and dynamic images make the book well suited to be read aloud, and the expressive canine faces make each character delightfully approachable. Children will be inspired to support and encourage Stanley and one another as they consider the feelings described in this book.
VERDICT This is an accessible story that will help young children transition tothe expectations of school, especially when they are feeling trepidation themselves.

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