Rosemary Wells has been entertaining children with her sly, sweet characters and stories for decades, and she does so once again with On the Night Before Kindergarten. Milo’s parents are excited for Milo’s first day, but Milo, a young kitten, is plagued by bad dreams about what might happen: showing up wearing only his red rubber boots (causing everyone to laugh), forgetting how to count to six or getting stuck on the school bus as it zips past his house.
Young readers will love watching Milo’s parents fret incessantly about his dreams while Milo goes on to enjoy a fantastic first day. Wells has a way of reaching into young readers’ souls and reassuring them about their fears—while making them laugh in the process. She bathes Milo’s dream scenes in a starry blue background, a motif she later repeats in small spot illustrations to indicate what his parents are worrying about. A fine, funny joke on Milo’s father nicely ties the story’s end to its beginning. On the Night Before Kindergarten is an excellent choice for any young child about to face a new situation.