Alyssa Satin Capucilli, Author
Lorna Hussey, Illustrator
Henry Holt and Company, Fiction, Jun. 23, 2015
Suitable for Ages: 2-6
Themes: First day at school jitters, Bears, Separation, Friendship
Opening: “It was Bear’s first day of school. Mama gave Bear an extra big hug and extra big kiss. Bear held on to Mama tightly.”
Synopsis: Bear is unsure about his first day at school. He’d rather stay at home with Mama. Bear soon discovers that school can be fun. He paints, listens to stories, builds block towers, dresses up, gives a doll a bath, makes a new friend and plays on the playground. After school, Mama is waiting and Bear has a surprise for her.
Why I like this book:
Alyssa Satin Capucilli has written a charming book for children who may be reluctant to attend preschool or kindergarten for the first time. The book sweetly deals with separation anxiety from Mama and is comforting. As Bear hesitantly explores the new and exciting wonders of school, he makes a friend. What I appreciate most about this book is that Bear doesn’t choose gender specific toys and activities. He dresses up like a pirate, plays in the kitchen, and gives a doll a bath. When Bear goes to the playground he prefers to blow bubbles with another bear and make rainbows with chalk instead of swinging and climbing with the other cubs. This is an excellent book to help prepare little ones for school. Lorna Hussey’s watercolor and ink illustrations are expressive, fun, and endearing. They really contribute to the cozy charm of the story.
Resources: Reading this book to your child is a good way to jump-start a conversation about going to school for the first time. Like Bear, encourage your little cub to paint or draw without coloring books, learn to put things away, play games to learn to take turns, or make a book together about school. Most important, attend an orientation or visit the school ahead of time.
Even though Perfect Picture Books is on vacation until September 11, you can still visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books to see a complete listing of all thePerfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources.