Hae-Kyung Chang, Author
Josee Bisaillon, Illustrator
Magination Press, Fiction, 2014
Suitable for ages: 4-8
Themes: Kindergarten, Anxiety, School Problems
Opening: One morning, Holly banged and stomped her feet, and her eyes fill up with tears. “I don’t want to go to school,” she wailed.”
Book Jacket Synopsis: Oh no! Holly does not want to go to school one morning. Her friends are taking her toys and her teacher speaks too loudly. Everything is just too new and too different for Holly! Through gentle reassurances and coaching, her mother encourages her to think differently about the things that are bothering her at school. Holly begins to feel better about her new routines, new classmates, and new expectations, and soon she is off to school!
Why I like this book: Hae-Kyung Chang addresses common childhood jitters about going to school in a creative, realistic and engaging manner. Children wonder if they will like their new teacher. Will other kids want to sit with them on the school bus? They worry about making friends and sharing toys. Will they make mistakes? Reading the book with your child before they start school can be a fun way to encourage them to talk about their anxiety. I especially like the last double-page spread where children are invited to write or draw their reasons for not wanting to go to school and what they find fun and exciting about school. I recommend Oh No, School! for parents preparing their children for the new school year. Josee Bisaillon’s colorful collages are made from rich textures that really set the mood for the story. This is a beautifully illustrated book.
Resources: The book is a helpful resource for parents. At the end, psychologist Elizabeth McCallum, PhD, offers parents many tips and guidelines that may help children easily transition to school with more self-confidence.