Back to School Books (page 3)
Going back to school can be both exciting and daunting for children of all ages - and even dogs, aliens, and aardvarks. With the help of a few endearing characters starring in these first "class" romps, the coming school days are sure to be filled with learning and a healthy dose of laughter.
Oh My Baby, Little One
Ages: 2 - 4 yrs.
Author: Kathi Appelt Illustrator: Jane Dyer
Harcourt Brace & Company, $16.00 (Hard Cover)
With more and more mothers returning to work, and more and more small children entering daycare at a tender age, this lilting rhymed text accompanied by warm-hearted, accomplished watercolor illustrations will comfort both adult readers and youngest listeners. A mother bird is leaving her fledging at nursery school, but she assures him, in verse upon verse, that “…even when I’m far away / this love I have will stay / and wrap itself around you / every minute of the day.”
How I Spent My Summer Vacation
Ages: 3 - 7 yrs.
By: Mark Teague
Random House Children's Books/ Yearling, $6.99 (Paperback)
This endearing romp with an appealingly old-fashioned young hero quickly dispels any comparisons to that drearily familiar back-to-school exercise we all know so well. Teague's compelling pictures, just a tad surreal in quality, entice us to join small Wallace Bleff on his train trip Westward "to visit Aunt Fern in her house on the plains." That this abode bears a startling resemblance to Aunt Em's pad in The Wizard of Oz just adds to the homey atmosphere of the tale.
The Awful Aardvarks Go To School
Ages: 3 - 8 yrs.
Author: Reeve Lindbergh Illustrator: Tracey Campbell Pearson
Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers/Puffin Books, $5.99 (Paperback)
When a pack of awful aardvarks go to school, the results are delightfully disastrous. They anger the anteater and flick fleas at Freddie Frog as they storm their way through the classroom and through the alphabet. The hilarious illustrations are the perfect match for the non-stop humor of the rhymes in this fun-filled alphabet book. Book Description
Baloney (Henry P.)
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Jon Scieszka Illustrator: Lane Smith
Penguin Putnam Inc./Viking Children's Books, $15.99 (Hard Cover)
Our young green-faced alien, Henry P. Baloney, arrives late at school once too often. His teacher, Miss Bugscuffle, wants to know the reason why. Henry embarks on a creative excuse, and naturally as an alien, he continues to use "alien" words (for translations of them see Decoder at the back of the book). Overcome with admiration of his magnificent tall tale, Miss Bugscuffle asks Henry to write down his story.
Once Upon an Ordinary School Day
Ages: 5 - 8 yrs.
Author: Colin McNaughton Illustrator: Satoshi Kitamura
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $16.00 (Hard Cover)
The boy's breakfast is ordinary, his walk to school is ordinary, even his thoughts are ordinary. But when he goes to his classroom and sits down at his desk, his day begins to change - a new teacher, Mr. Gee, bursts into the classroom with an extraordinary idea that challenges all the children to use their imagination. Suddenly an ordinary day is turned topsy-turvy, and the boy is inspired in a way that will change him forever. Book Description
Miss Malarkey Won't Be In Today
Ages: 5 - 9 yrs.
Author: Judy Finchler Illustrator: Kevin O'Malley
Walker and Company, $15.95 (Hard Cover)
This antic tale about a conscientious elementary school teacher who must call in sick one morning when she awakes with a fever of 103.2. So upset is she about the possible substitutes the principal may call on that she worries herself well and dashes off to school, fever forgotten. This topsy turvy view of “substitutes” from the teacher’s perspective is sure to please young listener/viewers.
Smartypants (Pete in School)
Ages: 5 & Up
Author: Maira Kalman Illustrator: Maira Kalman
Penguin Putnam/G.P. Putnam's Sons, $15.99 (Hard Cover)
Having a dog in class is always a clue that it's going to be an interesting day, especially when the dog in question-and the one with all the answers-is the insatiable canine gourmand Pete. As Pete gets his fill of knowledge, he also serves as an impetus for learning rules are made to be broken and there is no end to learning. Book Description
Rotten Ralph Helps Out
Ages: 6 - 8 yrs.
Author: Jack Gantos Illustrator: Nicole Rubel
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $14.00 (Hard Cover)
Sarah is studying ancient Egypt at school. She unwisely involves her infamous cat, Ralph, in her schemes for her project. Ralph, with the best of intentions, always manages to be, well, rotten. Though he loses all the battles, including one with the local librarian, Rotten Ralph wins the war. With its insight into the nature of all well-meaning klutzes, this new beginning reader will entice every reader who can identify with Ralph. (Psst. . . all of us.)
Thank You, Mr. Falker
Ages: 6 - 10 yrs.
Author: Patricia Polacco
Penguin Putnam Inc./ Philomel, $16.99 (Hard Cover)
Tricia, who has a yearning to learn to read because of her family's love of learning, discovers that letters in books seem to be all wiggling shapes. As she progresses through school, her classmates scorn her as dumb. She believes them . . . until Fifth Grade when she is blessed with a wonderful teacher, Mr. Falker.
Gooney Bird Greene
Ages: 6 & Up
Author: Lois Lowry Illustrator: Middy Thomas
Houghton Mifflin Co., $15.00 (Hard Cover)
Wearing colorful, creative costumes daily, Gooney Bird soon becomes the brightest, in every sense of the word, star of second grade. Declaring, "I tell only absolutely true stories," Gooney Bird enters the annals of funny young protagonists. The format of the book is excellent for transitional readers. Wearing colorful, creative costumes daily, Gooney Bird soon becomes the brightest, in every sense of the word, star of second grade. Declaring, "I tell only absolutely true stories," Gooney Bird enters the annals of funny young protagonists. The format of the book is excellent for transitional readers.
Danitra Brown, Class Clown
Ages: 7 - 9 yrs.
Author: Nikki Grimes Illustrator: E. B. Lewis
HarperCollins Children's Books / Amistad, $16.99 (Hard Cover)
Danitra Brown and Zuri are starting a new school year. They may be best friends, but they view the world through very different lenses. Zuri is apprehensive, particularly because of her fear of math; Danitra is lively and optimistic. When Zuri passes a foolish note which is intercepted by a class bully, Danitra plays the role of clown to save her friend.
Reprinted with the permission of the Parents' Choice Foundation. © Copyright 2012 Parents' Choice Foundation. All rights reserved.
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