Happy Labor Day!
Kick back and relax. Unless you’re one of the few people who work today (and thank you for that), you’re probably attending a cook-out, fireworks display, or enjoying the last days at the beach or pool. And if you’re a kid, you’re either enjoying your first school holiday or starting tomorrow, depending on where you live. And, BACK-TO-SCHOOL is definitely on your minds. Get a few pointer on dealing with the back-to-school blues with these old friends…
First Day Jitters written by Julie Danneberg and illustrated by Judy Love (2000)
Sarah Jane Hartwell has the first day of school jitters. She refuses to get out of bed. She doesn’t know anyone at her new school, and she’s sure it will be simply horrible. Mr. Hartwell packs her lunch and drives her to her new school where she meets Mrs. Burton, the principal. Mrs. Burton leads her through crowded hallways to her new classroom and announces, “Class, I would like you to meet your new teacher Mrs. Sarah Jane Hartwell.”
My Name is Yoon written by Helen Recorvits and illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska (2003)
Yoon does not want to start a new school in America. She must learn English and learn how to write her name in English. Her name in Korean is beautiful and happy, like dancing figures. In English every letter stands alone, it’s very lonely just like she feels in America. In school, Yoon does not talk much, but she does try out new names for herself… CAT, BIRD, and CUPCAKE. Yoon’s name means Shining Wisdom and her father reminds her that it still has the same meaning in a new country. After several days, Yoon finally feels confident enough to write her name at school, first in Korean and then in English.
Chrysanthemum written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes (1991)
Chrysanthemum is a little mouse who loves her name and is excited about starting school, until she does. Then she is teased for her extra long name and the fact that she is named after a flower. She goes home saying, “School is no place for me.” Her parents convince her that she is loved and that her name is perfect. But everyday, Chrysanthemum is teased by the other girls with short, common names, until they meet Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Twinkle is the music teacher. Everyone thought she was an ‘indescribable wonder’ and they wanted so much to please her and make a ‘nice impression’. When Mrs. Twinkle revealed that her name was extra long, and that she was also named after a flower, and that if her baby was a girl she was going to name her Chrysanthemum, the girls had a change of heart. In fact they all wanted to change their names too… Marigold, Carnation, and Lily of the Valley.
And, if you’re interested in reading some new picture books about going back to school, check out some of my reviews of these new friends…
Dog Days of School written by Kely DiPucchio and illustrated by Brian Biggs (2014) HERE
My Teacher is a Monster written and illustrated by Peter Brown (2014) HERE
Planet Kindergarten written by Sue Ganz-Schmitt and illustrated by Shane Prigmore (2014) HERE
The Invisible Boy written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Patrice Barton (2013) HERE
Clark the Shark written by Bruce Hale and illustrated by Guy Francis (2013) HERE
Lazy Little Loafers written by Susan Orlean and illustrated by G. Brian Karas (2008) HERE