This is a charming new picture book that acknowledges the fears that many children face on the first day of school. Mae’s voice and feelings are loud and clear through her words, as the text font gets larger and becomes upper case, and through her facial expressions and her actions. The interesting twist that this text introduces is an adult who admits she is nervous because it is her first day as their new teacher – What if the kids don’t like me?; what if I miss my cat? – And so, the two youngsters with worries of their own realize that they are not alone. Although the main characters are all female, Berube’s coloured pencil illustrations introduce an ethnic mix of children on the playground, and various family configurations.
This story will generate a discussion on feelings, plus be useful for teaching or modelling retelling, inference and prediction.
This picture book would be an excellent read aloud for both Kindergarten and Grade 1 classes.