Children's Book List

Reviews of Children's Literature

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School

Written By: Davide Cali
Illustrated By: Benjamin Chaud

funny-thing-happened-on-the-way-to-school

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School

Summary:
A humorous story about imaginative excuses for being late to school.

Rating: 3 ***

Similar to Dr. Suess’ And to Think I saw it on Mulberry Street. A boy tells his teacher all of the outlandish reasons he didn’t get to school on time.

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Poem in your Pocket

Written By: Margaret McNamara
Illustrated By: G. Brian Karas

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Poem in your Pocket

Summary: Elinor is used to doing very well in school, but as Poem in Your Pocket Day approaches, bringing an opportunity to meet a real poet, her struggle to write a perfect poem causes Elinor’s confidence to falter, despite Mr. Tiffin’s guidance and reassurance.

Rating: 4 ****

A sweet story about how everyone has trouble in school sometimes.

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Dear Panda

By: Miriam Latimer

dear-panda

Dear Panda

Summary:
Missing her friends after moving to a new school, little Florence writes a letter to the panda at the zoo next door, asking him to be her friend before meeting another little girl who shares her love of pandas.

Rating: 4 ****

A twist on the new kid at school story.

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Dog Days of School

Written By: Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrated By: Brian Biggs

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Dog Days of School


Tired of school, Charlie envies his dog and wishes he could be a dog, too, but when his wish comes true he discovers that his life was not all bad.

Rating: 5 *****

What would happen if you changed lives with a dog. This book has the answers.

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Thank You Mr. Falkner

By: Patricia Polacco.

thank-you-mr-falkner

Thank You Mr. Falkner


At first, Trisha loves school, but her difficulty learning to read makes her feel dumb, until, in the fifth grade, a new teacher helps her understand and overcome her problem.

Rating: 5 *****

A beautiful and heartfelt book about a caring teacher and a struggling child.

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Planet Kindergarten

Written By: Sue Ganz-Schmitt
Illustrated By: Shane Prigmore

planet-kindergarten

Planet Kindergarten


A young child imagines going off to Kindergarten as a journey to another planet.

Rating: 5 *****

The story and illustrations don’t make clear that the child is not actually going to another planet, at least not to a five year old. Not sure that matters, but it is of note. Beside that kindergarten can be like going to a different planet to a child who is going to school the first time. A great book to discuss all of the nuances of going to school.

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On My Way to School

Written By: Sarah Maizes
Illustrated By: Michael Paraskevas

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On My Way to School


Livi imagines herself as an elephant, a Sherpa leading an expedition up Mount Everest, and a movie star signing autographs as she tries to avoid going to school.

Rating: 5 *****

Maizes offers fantastic insight into why it takes kids so very long in getting ready to go to school. A great book to discuss routine and getting going.

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Edda

By: Adam Auerbach

edda

Edda : a little Valkyrie’s first day of school

Edda, the littlest Valkyrie, leaves the magical land of Asgard to attend school in hopes of making a friend her own age, but feels like an outcast until she finds her courage and learns that being different makes her special.

Rating: 3 ***

It would be a more interesting story if it was the opposite – a child went to school in Asgard. Kids are more interested in the Valkyrie illustrations and what everything is, which unfortunately is not described.

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My New Teacher and Me

By Al Yankovic

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My New Teacher and Me
Reviewed by Children’s Book List

On the first day of school, the imaginative and energetic Billy clashes with a somber new teacher who will not believe his fanciful tales.

Rating: 4 ****

If any musician should right a children’s book it’s Weird Al Yankovic. The rhymes are of course great and the story very imaginative.

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Will I Have a Friend?

By Miriam Cohen

Will I Have a Friend?
Reviewed by Children’s Book List

Jim’s anxieties on his first day of school are happily forgotten when he makes a new friend.

Rating: 5 *****

This is a great book for any child who’s worried about the first day of school and making new friends.

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