Have a youngster worried about the upcoming start to the new school year? Reassure them with these great picture books from HarperCollins!
Kindergators: Hands Off Harry!: This is the first book in a new classroom-based series from beloved author Rosemary Wells (McDuff, Max & Ruby) focusing on behavioural issues. Great for parents and teachers alike, the books feature characters kids will love and funny stories that will keep them in stitches. Hands Off Harry is about a little gator who just can’t respect his classmate’s personal space. His fellow students and teacher, Miss Harmony, join forces and work together to find a solution. The second book in the series, coming Summer 2012, deals with temper tantrums and is called Miracle Melts Down. Each book in the series closes with an educator’s note on the behavioural issue and encourages these books to be used as a springboard for conversation. For Kindergator activities and talking points, be sure to check out the Kindergators website, and click here to read a PW interview with Rosemary Wells about the series.
Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School by David Mackintosh: New student Marshall Armstrong is differentthan his fellow students. He is pale, wears a boater hat & big glasses and doesn’t have a TV at home. But it doesn’t take long for Marshall to prove that you don’t have to follow the crowd to be the most popular kid in the playground. The Wall Street Journal called the book a ‘cheerful paean to eccentricity’. Publisher’s Weekly gave the book a starred review saying: “Mackintosh’s beautifully underplayed text and genial drawings manage to be empathic to both the leery narrator and the serenely outre object of his misapprehension. Without a whiff of pedantry, Mackintosh skillfully dismantles the narrator’s defenses and bonds him to Marshall Armstrong, all the while proving that fun doesn’t always fit within the confines of one’s comfort zone.” Kirkus loved it too, calling it “A true celebration of differences, this may well encourage readers to see new students in a whole new light.”
Keeping with the theme of books that celebrate our differences, we also have First Week At Cow School by Andy Cutbill. This funny sequel to The Cow That Laid an Egg and The Best Cow in Show focuses on a mother’s apprehension when her daughter Daisy starts cow school. Daisy (being a chicken) can’t hoof paint or swat flies as well as the other cows, and cowpat training is frankly a disaster! Fortunately, Marjorie discovers that Daisy has a surprising talent that makes her stand out from the herd! My favourite spread in this book is the one featuring a row of anxious parents peering worriedly into the window of the classroom while their children blithely frolic away!
Pete the Cat: Rocking In My School Shoes by Eric Litwin: Pete is back and ready for school! Cool cat Pete, rocking his red shoes, an orange backpack, and a green lunchbox heads off for school and a bunch of new experiences. Does Pete worry? Goodness, no! It’s all good! Kids will be reassured about starting school as Pete takes them through the day- from riding the bus, to sitting in the classroom, to heading to the library & out to the playground. As with his first book, Litwin has written a companion song that is available at the HarperCollins Children’s Book website along with some cool downloadable activities (my personal favourite is the ’Pin the shoe on Pete’ game)!
The First Day of School by Anne Rockwell: The kids from Mrs. Madoff’s classroom are back and preparing for the start of a new school year. They are getting haircuts, new shoes and new backpacks filled with school supplies. They meet at the playground and talk about how scared they were last year on the first day of school, how much fun they ended up having at school, and promise each other that now matter what changes are in store for them this year, they’ll still be friends. Readers nervous about the start of the new school year will be gently reassured!
Splat the Cat: Back to School, Splat! by Rob Scotton: Homework on the first day of school! Splat has to share his favourite memory of summer for show & tell, but how to pick just one? Between soccer games, swimming with sharks, and hunting for pirate treasure, Splat’s summer was packed with adventure. But in the end, the best memory of all is the fun he had with his little sister. This fun (and inexpensive) 8×8 paperback will have kids in stitches!
Follow me on twitter @rozsteele