Sounds Like School Spirit

Dial. Jul. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593108321.
PreS-K–There is no shortage of picture books about the first day of school, but Fleming’s is a cheerful and fun entry in the genre. Using the creative structure of a cheer (“We say ALPHA, you say BET / ALPHA! BET! ALPHA! BET!”), this read-aloud will energize students new to the school experience. Some facets of the classroom setting, such as carpet time and toy sharing, imply a preschool audience, while the cafeteria and large varsity-style letters spelling “ELEMENTARY SCHOOL’’ seem directed at an older audience. Overall, the children’s faces are happy, though a few of them indicate first-day jitters, with an underlying layer that may make this perfect for kindergarteners. Phrases such as “come on over,” “taking turns,” “make room,” and “sit with us,” prepare children for a collaborative classroom experience. Cummins’s illustrations are predominantly rendered in primary colors.
VERDICT An amiable, caring look at those early days, sure to help newbies make the transition.

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