Bernard Goes to School

Overview

It is Bernard's first day in preschool. Mama, Papa, and Grandma show him the toys and blocks and paints. Bernard isn't interested in preschool. "Time to go home!" he says. But preschool seems like a lot of fun to Bernard's family. Papa is building with the blocks. Mama is painting pictures. And Grandma is having a tea party with the dollies. Standing alone in the middle of the room is Bernard, whose heart is set on going home--until he makes a friend. This bright and happy book from Joan Elizabeth Goodman and ...

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Overview

It is Bernard's first day in preschool. Mama, Papa, and Grandma show him the toys and blocks and paints. Bernard isn't interested in preschool. "Time to go home!" he says. But preschool seems like a lot of fun to Bernard's family. Papa is building with the blocks. Mama is painting pictures. And Grandma is having a tea party with the dollies. Standing alone in the middle of the room is Bernard, whose heart is set on going home--until he makes a friend. This bright and happy book from Joan Elizabeth Goodman and Dominic Catalano is perfect for young children with mixed feelings about preschool. They will identify with Bernard, who discovers that preschool is really a wonderful place, especially when you make new friends.

Joan Elizabeth Goodman, author of Bernard's Bath and Bernard's Nap, has created numerous works for children, including picture books and novels. She's the author of The Winter Hare and Hope's Crossing. Ms. Goodman lives in New York City.

Dominic Catalano, illustrator of Bernard's Bath and Bernard's Nap, is also the illustrator of Merry Christmas, Old Armadillo by Larry Dane Brimner. He also wrote Santa and the Three Bears, and created a retelling of Frog Went A-Courting, all published by Boyds Mills Press. Mr. Catalano lives in Oswego, New York.

Until he makes a new friend, Bernard the elephant doesn't want to stay on his first day of preschool, but his parents and grandmother don't want to leave when they discover how much fun school can be.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Although his mother, father, grandmother and grandfather try to show him all the fun he can have in preschool, Bernard just wants to go home. It is only when Miss Brody has him feed the fish, and he makes a friend, that he is ready to stay and send the rest of the family home. Catalano's double-page scenes are equally positive as they describe Bernard's emotional evolution from apprehension to authoritative pleasure. The characters are lifted out of the ordinary by being anthropomorphic, differently colored, rounded, textured pachyderms who almost crowd out the appropriately detailed settings. They add a smile to this brief, simply told tale to encourage the nervous school beginner. 2001, Boyds Mills Press, $15.95. Ages 2 to 5. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Once again, the recalcitrant elephant from Bernard's Bath (Boyds Mills, 2000) faces what he considers an unpleasant situation: starting nursery school. His adoring parents and grandmother accompany him on the first day and soon become enthralled with blocks, paints, and doll tea parties. Bernard stands alone, demanding to go home. The understanding teacher suggests he might like to feed the fish. He agrees unenthusiastically but soon becomes involved, especially after a girl comes to help name the creatures. Shortly thereafter, Bernard again says that it's time to go home, but this time he means that he's ready for his family to leave. The anthropomorphic elephants, the females distinguished by jeweled headbands, are depicted in fantastic colors of purple, orange, green, gold, and teal. In varied perspectives, the pictures flow vigorously across one and a half pages and incorporate the large, well-spaced type. With a lively, conversational text, humor, a simple plot, and a positive resolution, the book reassuringly addresses the common problem of adjustment to preschool.-Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The first day of preschool can give even an elephant a case of the shim-shams, as Goodman's little pachyderm learns. Bernard is ushered into school by his mother, father, and grandma, but surrounded as he is by kith and kin, Bernard isn't cottoning to the experience. As mother and father oh and ah, Bernard says it's "time to go home." Mother, father, and grandma eagerly point out the blocks and costumes and art supplies, and Bernard disappears behind his mother's ample posterior. Miss Brody-an Old Soul in the finest elephant tradition (if youngish and turquoise)-is Bernard's teacher, and she gently guides him over to the fish tank to give the fish a snack. While Bernard had firmly resisted his parents' implorings to get involved, he offers a couple of tentative "maybes" to Miss Brody, not seemingly out of need to gain her favor, but because feeding the fish takes his mind off his worries. Besides, he gets acquainted with a schoolmate at the tank and they join forces to name the fish. Bernard intones "time to go home" once more, though now he means it's time for his parents to take a powder. Featuring purple, green, and gold elephants, Catalano's pastels are as soft as the outcome of the story, with Bernard discovering that a friendly face and a new chum go a long way toward taking the dismay out of the new. (Picture book. 2-5)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563979583
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan Goodman has written and illustrated numerous picture books, including the Bernard series; Hush Little Darling: A Christmas Song; Amanda's First Day of School; and Good Night, Pippin. She is also the author of Songs from Home, a novel for young adults. Ms. Goodman lives with her husband and two children in New York City.

Dominic Catalano has illustrated many books for children, including Mr. Basset Plays, which he also wrote. He lives in Perrysburg, Ohio.

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