Daily Archives: August 18, 2016

4 New Back-to-School Books


by Boni Ashburn
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

This book so reminded me of a family favorite in my house growing up: The Philharmonic Gets Dressed, by Karla Kuskin. which details the getting ready process for “92 men and 13 women” who play in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. In Ashburn’s book, a classful of children gets ready in their individual homes and getting to school. Every child has his or her own journey, from waking up, to getting dressed, eating breakfast, feeding pets, getting to the bus stop or walking to school, and tripping on their way into the building to be greeted by their Kindergarten teacher on the first day of school. Nearly everyone will be able to identify with someone in The Class. Just as sweet and fascinating as Kuskin’s book, 30+ years later!


by Sam Garton
Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

I know it’s an Otter book if I’m giggling out loud, and the latest installment is no exception. I was hoping that Otter actually got to go to school, but instead he (she?) dresses up and plays teacher, with old pals Teddy, Giraffe, and Pig as students. My favorite part was when Otter awards himself a bunch of stickers for a job well done.


by Susan Hood
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

Very cleverly done – the words are “secret mission” style task descriptions, like “report to headquarters” and the pictures show the task as done by Kindergarten agents (in this case, getting back home at the end of the day). Twins are seen as double agents, fingerpainting becomes fingerprinting, etc.


by Jenna McCarthy
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

Lola sure does know a lot – including how to be a perfectly irritating little sister! She also does know quite a lot of things that will be useful in Kindergarten, like counting and shoe-tying, but then her big sister convinces her that she doesn’t know how to do multiplication or other advanced skills. In the end, though, Mom assures her she’ll be just fine.



by Aaron Becker
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

I was so excited to see this final installment of the Journey wordless picture book trilogy come across my path, but I was a bit disappointed. I remembered Journey and Quest as being visually breathtaking, but this one felt rushed somehow. Not one of the spreads was arresting and I even went back to the first two books to see if I was remembering them correctly. I was – they’re still as beautiful as ever. But I hadn’t noticed that some of the lines had the same sketchy quality as in Return. I think it’s just more prominent in this one, and for some reason it really stood out to me – possibly because the plot was not as engaging for me, especially because it consists of Dad coming and rescuing our heroine and her friends. Yawn.