STARRED REVIEW
July 25, 2017

School spirit: Get ready for class!

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Prepping for a new school year (and saying goodbye to summer) is never easy! If you’re looking for a way to get your little ones excited about academic life, check out the picture books below. As these titles prove, school definitely rules.

STARRED REVIEW
July 25, 2017

School spirit: Get ready for class!

Feature by

Prepping for a new school year (and saying goodbye to summer) is never easy! If you’re looking for a way to get your little ones excited about academic life, check out the picture books below. As these titles prove, school definitely rules.

July 25, 2017

School spirit: Get ready for class!

Feature by

Prepping for a new school year (and saying goodbye to summer) is never easy! If you’re looking for a way to get your little ones excited about academic life, check out the picture books below. As these titles prove, school definitely rules.

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Prepping for a new school year (and saying goodbye to summer) is never easy! If you’re looking for a way to get your little ones excited about academic life, check out the picture books below. As these titles prove, school definitely rules.

FROM A STUDENT’S PERSPECTIVE
In the original and inspiring first-person poems that comprise Sally Derby’s A New School Year: Stories in Six Voices (ages 5 to 9), youngsters of different backgrounds express their uncertainties about life in the classroom. On the night before and throughout the first day of school, Derby’s delightful characters share varying viewpoints. In “Feeling Lucky,” fourth-grader Carlos is excited about his new school shoes—“black with a silver stripe”—and starts the morning on a positive note: “I bet I find a new friend quick.” A poem called “Seven O’Clock Butterflies” finds Katie, a second-grader, fighting off nerves: “Maybe tomorrow / would be better than today / for starting back to school,” she thinks. (We’ve all been there!) In soft, colorful watercolor illustrations, Mika Song imbues each student with a distinct personality. These appealing poems will put anxious pupils-to-be at ease.

CREATURE IN THE CLASSROOM
Wonderful and whimsical, The Teacher’s Pet (ages 4 to 7) by Anica Mrose Rissi is the story of a class experiment gone awry. Softhearted Mr. Stricter and his students are excited about the pet tadpoles they’ve been caring for as a science project. But they can only keep one, Bruno—a critter who surprises them all by maturing into an enormous hippo instead of a frog. Bruno has a monster appetite (he eats scissors, books—even desks!), takes up half the room and proves to be generally unmanageable. Mr. Stricter lets Bruno have his way until the students are forced to take matters into their own hands. Irresistible illustrations by Zachariah Ohora, who favors strong swaths of color and bold black lines, add to the appeal of Rissi’s out-of-the ordinary story. There’s nothing average about this madcap classroom adventure.

PET PUPIL
A furry friend comes to class in Maria Gianferrari’s Hello Goodbye Dog (ages 4 to 6). Zara, the story’s wheelchair-bound main character, adores her brown mutt, Moose. As she heads to school, he wants to tag along, but dogs aren’t allowed in class! There’s no stopping Moose—again and again, he manages to escape from home and make his way to school, where he eventually causes chaos in the cafeteria. Zara soon has a brilliant idea: enroll Moose in dog-therapy class. Thanks to his gentle nature, Moose aces his tests and gets to join Zara at school as a reading dog. At last, students and staff can give the tail-wagging pooch a warm welcome. Antics-filled mixed-media illustrations by Patrice Barton bring extra liveliness to the proceedings. This heart-warming, hilarious story is sure to stir up back-to-school excitement.

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Get the Books

A New School Year

A New School Year

By Sally Derby, illustrated by Mika Song
Charlesbridge
ISBN 9781580897303
The Teacher’s Pet

The Teacher’s Pet

By Anica Mrose Rissi, illustrated by Zachariah OHora
Disney-Hyperion
ISBN 9781484743645
Hello Goodbye Dog

Hello Goodbye Dog

By Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Patrice Barton
Roaring Brook
ISBN 9781626721777

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