“Kids will relate to the worries described in this insightful, funny story about the first day of school.”
A variety of critters share the anxieties they feel the night before the first day of school. Sloth worries about being late—”have you ever seen how slowly sloths walk? . . . I probably should have left yesterday”—while Rabbit is unsure how she will control her boundless energy, and Snake doesn’t know how to keep his backpack on. As the classmates arrive at school and sit uneasily in their chairs, an armadillo rolls into the room curled up tight in a protective ball. The armadillo is their teacher, Mr. Sherwood, who, as it turns out, is also very nervous about the first day. Eager to help, the students offer their services and discover that their unique characteristics can actually be used to help others. John and Climo fill the story with examples of young kids identifying and explaining what is causing them to feel nervous, making this a powerful teaching moment as many of the worries are relatable for little readers—high energy, small physical size, missing home and parents, and more. The teacher’s own shyness will also help kids understand that everyone (even adults) gets nervous. John displays characteristic wit and humor throughout, and Climo depicts it all with speech bubbles and a unique, straightforward, comic-strip like simplicity in character design and color.
First-day-of-school jitters have never been funnier or more reassuring than in this picture book by the New York Times bestselling author Jory John and critically acclaimed illustrator Liz Climo
It’s almost the first day of school, and the animals are nervous. Sloth worries about getting there on time, snake can’t seem to get his backpack fastened onto his body, and bunny is afraid she’ll want to hop around instead of sitting still. When they all arrive at their classroom, though, they’re in for a surprise: Somebody else is nervous too. It’s their teacher, the armadillo! He has rolled in as a ball, and it takes him a while to relax and unfurl. But by the next day, the animals have all figured out how to help one another through their jitters. School isn’t so scary after all.
It is written in “stream of consciousness” style and it can be a bit hard to follow.
JORY JOHN is the author of multiple books for children and adults, including the New York Times bestsellers The Terrible Two and All My Friends Are Dead, as well as the popular Penguin Problems and E. B. White Read-Aloud Honor book Goodnight Already. He lives in Oregon with his wife.
Liz Climo is an author, illustrator, and animator currently working on <i>The Simpsons</i>. She has written and illustrated several children’s books, including the Rory the Dinosaur series, and two comic collections based on her incredibly popular Tumblr, Hi I’m Liz. She lives in LA with her family.