I Am Not Going to School Today! by Robie H. Harris, Jan Omerod |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
I Am Not Going to School Today!

I Am Not Going to School Today!

by Robie H. Harris, Jan Omerod
     
 

"I closed my eyes and held on tight to Hank. That's when I decided that going to the very first day of school was NOT a good idea."

When a child gets ready for the first day of school, it feels very exciting. But doing something new for the first time can also feel somewhat scary.
With great affection and humor, Robie H. Harris and Jan Ormerod, creators of

Overview

"I closed my eyes and held on tight to Hank. That's when I decided that going to the very first day of school was NOT a good idea."

When a child gets ready for the first day of school, it feels very exciting. But doing something new for the first time can also feel somewhat scary.
With great affection and humor, Robie H. Harris and Jan Ormerod, creators of the award-winning picture book Goodbye Mousie, tell the captivating story of a child who decides that skipping the very first day of school is a very good idea.
But with help from his favorite stuffed animal, Hank, and his parents, he discovers that going to the very first day of school can be fun and exciting — and once you have done something new, it's not quite so new and scary anymore.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The duo behind Goodbye Mousie aptly handles the emotion of first-day-of-school jitters in this empathetic tale. After carefully packing his backpack the night before, a boy with wide, brown eyes (who narrates and remains nameless throughout) declares the next morning that he's not going to school because, "on the very first day of school, you don't know anything... all the kids' names, or which cubby is your cubby... or what kind of juice they have." The ultimate excuse concerns his stuffed monkey companion: "If I go to school, Hank won't have anyone to play with!" Ormerod's watercolor washes, outlined in black pencil, anchor the fast-moving dialogue with true-to-life details. (One scene shows Dad coaxing his son out from under the breakfast table; another depicts a late-for-work, yet smiling Mommy calmly holding out her son's jacket while suggesting Hank accompany the reluctant boy.) As the schoolday unfolds, the boy gets answers to all of his questions (he learns the kids' names, his teacher shows him his cubby and serves orange juice, etc.). The compositions keep the focus on the boy's blossoming confidence and do a splendid job of relating a subtle side-story of a budding friendship with another stuffed animal-clutching boy. The two children silently introduce their animals at circle time and play together in several successive spot illustrations of cheerful, bouncy pupils. This story insightfully relates a youngster's trepidation about the unknown, while its happy ending sends a comforting message to anxious schoolgoers. Ages 4-8. (July) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The night before the first day of school is full of anxiety. Although this little boy sets out everything he will need and seems ready to go, he announces to his parents that he is not going "Because on the very first day of school, you don't know anything!" He says he will go the second day. Mom and Dad quietly and deftly handle the situation. They allow him to take Hank, his stuffed monkey, who provides all the security he needs. Ormerod's pictures show a little boy who goes from tentative to truly enjoying himself when he discovers familiar activities and a friend. The text is smooth and captures a child's thought-process and feelings. It is written from the little boy's perspective and never talks down to the reader. The male teacher is a nice touch. This will reassure timid first-timers. It is definitely one to recommend to parents. Be sure to include it on your list of back-to-school titles. 2003, Margaret K. McElderry/Simon & Schuster, Ages 3 to 6.
— Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-As in Goodbye Mousie (McElderry, 2001), a book about the loss of a pet, Harris and Ormerod successfully combine simplicity with sensitivity to take on another emotionally stressful situation-facing the first day of school. After packing his knapsack and choosing his clothes for the next morning, a young boy feels ready for just about anything. However, once the lights are out, he clutches Hank, his stuffed monkey, and begins to worry. Before breakfast, he declares that he intends to stay home, "Because on the very first day of school, you don't know anything!" His parents patiently address his concerns, which include not being familiar with the routine and a reluctance to leave Hank behind, and Mom comes up with the idea of taking the monkey along. Once the child is settled in Mr. Chase's classroom, all of his questions are answered and his fears are put to rest. Told from the youngster's point of view, this story is filled with details that will strike a chord with children. The vivid illustrations done in black pencil line and watercolor washes feature simple yet elegantly drawn characters. The bright colors of their clothing contrast neatly with the white backgrounds. The artwork extends the text, as the pictures show the narrator meeting another equally tentative child who is holding on just as tightly to his teddy bear; by day's end, the two are fast friends. A reassuring anecdote for those beginning-of-the-year jitters.-Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The team of Harris and Ormerod once again create a reassuring title with utter purity of feeling. The little boy protagonist gets everything ready for the first day of school, but cuddling with Hank, his toy monkey, brings him to the decision of the title. He tells his parents that on the first day of school, you don't know anything, like which cubby is yours, where the toilets are, or anyone's name. And Hank will miss him. His parents finesse this pretty well, getting him fed and dressed and announcing that he can take Hank to school. He discovers he's not the only kid to bring a stuffed friend; he meets his teachers, finds out where the crayons are and what's for snack time, and decides he and Hank will go to school again tomorrow. Ormerod's beautiful way with bright kid colors and clear lines echoes and reinforces the story, and the apple-cheeked hero is a sweet little melding of the facial features of his mommy and daddy. A great send-off. (Picture book. 4-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689839139
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
06/10/2003
Edition description:
Repackage
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,155,698
Product dimensions:
11.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Jan Omerod is the illustrator of Goodbye Mousie and I Am Not Going to School Today by Robie Harris, as well as many other picture books, including several she has also written. Born in Australia, she now lives in Cambridge, England.

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