Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wednesday Book Review: School's First Day of School, by Adam Rex and Christian Robinson

Book Review:
School's First Day of School 
By Adam Rex and Christian Robinson Rex, Adam, and Christian Robinson. School's First Day of School. New York: Roaring Brook, 2016.

School's First Day of School is an adorable book about the school building worries. The story is very cute and simply written, and encompasses a child's worries about school wonderfully. I love the relationship between the janitor and the school (the janitor explains that students will soon fill the school):

Then I love the building intrigued by a fire drill:

I also love that they end the day in the library (or what looks like the library to me, with a Read poster, shelves and tables/chairs):

The illustrations are beautiful and filled with small details. For example, I love how all the houses and the school building have "faces." Makes the school seem more personable! 

More detailed photos:

Overall, a great book to start conversations about what might be worrying a child before going to school, or to read aloud in the classroom to help students remember that everyone is worried and nervous on the first day of school, even the school itself!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Wednesday Book Review: Get A Hit, Mo! by David A. Adler

Book Review:
Get A Hit, Mo!
By David A. Adler New York : Viking, published by Penguin Group, 2016

Get A Hit, Mo! is a Penguin Young Reader Level 2 (labeled Progressing Reader). I really like this letter to parents and educators (right) that gives activities to enhance the reading (especially if your child or students like to read the same book 100 times, this might vary the re-readings), ideas like adding -ing to words and making connections, in this case, thinking about Mo's feelings when he has a hard time hitting the ball and connecting yourself to the text and thinking about a time when you had a hard time.

This would be a great book to use for sub plans or for a child who is failing for the first time and needs a reminder that it's ok to fail and to try again. It also has an African American main character and family, along with a female coach and a diverse team of children. 

After reading the story, I felt that it was a little didactic and not really interesting to kids. As an adult, I felt like it was predictable (spoiler alert - he gets a hit!). They also repeat that he can't hear what Coach Marie is saying, but they never tell us what she says. I would have liked it if it was something like keep trying, or focus on the ball, or some other either growth mindset or baseball skill related encouragement.

But, if you have a child who loves baseball, is not a big reader, and wants to feel successful at reading and see themselves in a book, this might be a great step into reading book as it has a lot of repetition, short words, and an easy to follow plot. Support a local bookstore and buy it at Anderson's!