First Day

Overview

It's the first day of school at Yappy Puppy Play School and Haybillybun is not so sure he wants to go. What if the other kids make fun of his fluffy feet? Or his long name? Can't his mother go in his place and he'll stay at home?

But when he gets to school, Haybillybun discovers that everyone has a long name and he decides he'll stay after all. His mother returns home alone and finds she's missing her little boy more than she ever thought she ...

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Overview

It's the first day of school at Yappy Puppy Play School and Haybillybun is not so sure he wants to go. What if the other kids make fun of his fluffy feet? Or his long name? Can't his mother go in his place and he'll stay at home?

But when he gets to school, Haybillybun discovers that everyone has a long name and he decides he'll stay after all. His mother returns home alone and finds she's missing her little boy more than she ever thought she would. Is he all right?

How Haybillybun and his mother each experience the first day of school is the heart of Joan Rankin's warm and funny story, just right for little ones and their parents, who all must face their own first days sooner or later.

Little Haybillybun is not the only one who is worried about the first day of preschool.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
With a warm familial tone and gentle humor Rankin (Wow! It's Great Being a Duck) addresses the anxiety many children feel on the first day of school. Young Haybillybun protesteth plenty when his first day at Yappy Puppy Play School arrives. He's convinced he'll have a difficult time ("I've got scary eyes! Nobody will play with me!"; "I've got slip-slidey-fluffy feet.... I'll fall off the jungle gym"). But Mom and Dad provide reassuring solutions to all his concerns and Mom walks Haybillybun to his classroom. As Mom passes the morning at home without Haybillybun around, however, she suddenly feels a pang and rushes to the school to "rescue" her son. And to her pleasant surprise, Haybillybun doesn't need saving; he's having a blast, playing and painting with his new friends. Rankin refreshes a familiar theme by employing colorful names and phrases and by giving her characters realistic personalities and dialogue. Her delicately hued watercolors, predominantly green, blue and purple, contain the kind of entertaining and cozy detail Mom's cookie-adorned apron and dog-bone hat, a quaint dog-populated village, Haybillybun's "rock'n'roll" sunglasses that will draw in readers straightaway. Ages 4-7. (July) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Haybillybun is nervous about going to Yappy Puppy Play School for the first time. He pulls the covers over his head and tries to hide when his mother comes to rouse him for breakfast. He invents all sort of excuses as to why the other students won't like him, ranging from his "horrible fuzzy ears" to his "scary eyes" or his extra-long name. His parents try to reassure him, to no avail. After dropping him off, his mother goes home to her chores, but begins to wonder if her baby is old enough to be in school. She races back to rescue him, and predictably sees him playing with his classmates and obviously having a good time. The illustrations appear to be a combination of watercolors and colored pencils, and are soft and soothing, allowing the text to stand out in this straightforward tale. Kevin Henkes's Wemberly Worried (Greenwillow, 2000) is a stronger title dealing with the subject. Consider First Day an additional purchase for libraries in need of titles about starting school.-Lisa Gangemi Krapp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The first day of school is always a difficult transition for both parent and child and Haybillybun and his mother are no exception. Itemizing his problems, as he is coaxed to get ready, the preschool puppy moans that his "slip-slidey-fluffy feet" will prevent him from running and playing. Peering into the mirror, he proclaims that with his "horrible fuzzy ears," he will be unable to hear the teacher. He finishes his litany of woes by proclaiming that this full name is just too long and that he wants to be called just "Bun," but when he arrives at school, he is surprised to find that all of the other children have equally long and tongue-tying names. Returning home, Haybillybun's mother begins to go about her day, but the sight of her son's empty bedroom sends her flying back to the schoolyard to peer through the fence. Through the pickets, she sees him happily running through the playground. Later, a peek in the window shows him working quietly on a drawing. It is difficult to resist the beautiful watercolor illustrations that give such personality to the worried puppy and his friends. Children and parents alike will want to read this one again and again as they prepare for their own first day. Irresistible. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416968481
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 11/28/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 957,997
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan Rankin has illustrated more than twenty-five books for children. She received the South African HAUM Dann Retief Prize for Children’s Book Illustration in 1986 and the Katrina Harris Award for Children’s Book Illustration in 1991. Books she has illustrated include A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson and Off to First Grade by Louise Borden. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Joan Rankin has illustrated more than twenty-five books for children. She received the South African HAUM Dann Retief Prize for Children’s Book Illustration in 1986 and the Katrina Harris Award for Children’s Book Illustration in 1991. Books she has illustrated include A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson and Off to First Grade by Louise Borden. She lives with her husband and three daughters in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2002

    HAPPY DAY

    Writer/illustrator Joan Rankin ('Wow! It's Great To Be A Duck') has an excellent ear for phrases that children use and silly words that make them laugh. Her parent-child dialog exchanges are smart, honest, and straight out of the average family home, with the welcome exception of her hilariously creative student names from Pipsqueaker to Susieshyshoes. Wise, too is Rankin's choice to populate her Pre-K classroom with personified canines; this immediately warms nervous kids to the characters, and puts them at ease by distancing the oh-so-close-to-home problem.

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