Source: won from publisher
Release Date: June 23, 2015
Challenges: What An Animal
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Blurb from goodreads:
Marc Brown, creator of the beloved Arthur books and TV show, offers a charming new character—and a fun and reassuring story about preparing for the first day of school.
Kindergarten is only a week away . . . but Monkey is NOT ready. What if he gets on the wrong bus? What if they don’t have any red crayons? What if he doesn’t like the snacks? What if he doesn’t make new friends? There are so many thoughts running through Monkey’s head! But step by step, his family eases his worries: they get him a new backpack, help him read books about school, prepare his lunch, and make sure Monkey is excited—and ready—for the Big Day.
First day of school jitters, a familiar phenomena to most of us whether we suffered them or a child of ours did. Brown, best known for his Arthur the Aardvark books, uses his familiar artistic style for this book but tweaks it a bit so it looks like a child's artwork. The whole book, artistically speaking, is drawn as if a child of about 5 or 6 years of age wrote it. Even the text and font look as if they were written in crayon in a child's handwriting.
Although Monkey attended preschool, he's nervous about kindergarten - new school, new teachers, new classmates. He wonders why he has to attend kindergarten when he already knows most of the alphabet and many numbers. And what if they serve peas for snack?, which made me laugh as the preschool I teach at does serve peas (and other vegetables and fresh fruit). :D His parents and brother talk to him about it, what to expect, and make a production of buying all new supplies for his new school year - backpack, lunch box, sneakers, etc. He even has a play date with some of his new classmates prior to school starting.
"Monkey: Not Ready for Kindergarten" sweetly and respectfully addresses a child's nerves about school and how his family helps him to cope. Preschoolers, kindergarteners, and even young elementary/primary school-age children will be able to relate. The ending is a bit open-ended and abrupt, I thought perhaps I'd skipped page but no, that was the actual ending. It's a positive ending though and made me smile. The book will be enjoyed by children and also offer opportunities to discuss both first day of school nerves and other situations that make them nervous.