It's Back to School We Go! First Day Stories from Around the World by Ellen Jackson, illus. by Jan Davey Ellis, portrays the first day of class for children from 11 different countries. First-person accounts capture the similarities and differences among children across the globe. A Kenyan girl eats mandazi (fried bread) for lunch, a Peruvian boy paddles a canoe to school on the Amazon River and a Chinese boy's favorite subject is brush painting. All of these children share an eagerness to learn. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Students from around the world start out each year to attend their the first day of school. This very interesting book gives a snapshot of this first day for children in eleven different countries from Canada to Australia. Some children walk, while others travel on buses or even by canoe to get to school. Traditions differ from country to country. In Japan, school attendance is five days each week and Saturday mornings twice a month. Besides learning to write over one thousand Japanese kanji characters, primary school students study other subjects, such as arithmetic and art. Each student arrives early once a week to help with jobs around the school, such as, weeding grass, sweeping, or shoveling snow. Children take turns helping in the cafeteria preparing lunch. A popular activity that Japanese children enjoy is origami, which is a technique of folding paper to create a variety of shapes. The brief stories would be helpful for parents to read to children to help them prepare for their first day of school. The book would be an excellent choice for a school library. 2003, Millbrook Press, Ages 7 to 12.
— Sally Niezgoda