It's Time for Preschool!

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It's time to go to preschool.
And that means it's time for . . .
Having fun
Making friends
Learning about the world
Sharing with others
Using your manners
Playing games
Running, jumping, and swinging
Imagining and creating
Snacks and naps
Drop-off and pick-up
More, more, more!

Esmé Raji Codell and Sue Ramá introduce very young children—and their parents and caregivers—to the world of preschool in this cheerful and welcoming book that is guaranteed to make the first day (and every day) a bit less scary and a lot more fun!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Seldom has the question “What will preschool be like?” been answered in such detail. Codell (The Basket Ball) and Ramá (Daddy Adventure Day) divvy up the answer into 13 areas, including expected behavioral topics (manners, sharing, cleanup) and beautifully empathetic sections on homesickness (“Thinking-about-Home Time”) and getting picked up (“Never never never/ In a thousand million years/ Would Mom or Dad not pick you up,/ So let that ease your fears”). There’s even a spread devoted to fire drills (“How exciting! How noisy! We are safe and sound”). Ramá uses warm, saturated hues and textures to depict a world fully equipped for all kinds of fun (even naptime is seen as an opportunity for dreaming) and chock-full of bright-eyed potential friends. But her pictures take a backseat to Codell’s calm and lengthy explication of the preschool experience (she devotes four pages to Circle Time and four stanzas to musing on what parents may be doing while their child is in school). Whether this no-stone-unturned approach tamps down preschool jitters or feels like TMI will depend largely on the temperament of the reader. Ages 2–5. (July)
Children's Literature - Jody Little
This colorful picture book shares a wealth of information about preschool from the usual daily activities of circle time, play time, clean-up and sharing time to the infrequent activities such as fire drills and field trips. The illustrations are consistently joyful with the right amount of detail, and there are some peppy moments in the text, particularly in the clean-up section; however, as a whole, the text is inconsistent and often dense. Some pages, including the opening and closing, attempt to rhyme while many pages in between are filled with specific details that young children may not need or may become bored with. The author errs by adding a section about how children may worry and wonder about their parents while they attend preschool. A sidebar telling children that "never in a thousand million years would Mom or Dad not pick you up" may instill fears in children that many would never consider in the first place. The length, the amount of detail and the need for discussion make this a difficult book to read in one sitting, particularly in a classroom setting. Reviewer: Jody Little
Kirkus Reviews
Codell walks children step by step through the sights, sounds and activities of preschool. "What's at home? What's at school? / What's different, what's the same? / Let's go to a preschool room / and see what we can name." The first several pages mention common preschool objects and activities that observant readers can spot in the watercolor-and–digital-collage artwork. From there, Codell goes on to describe some of the regular parts of a preschool day: circle time, nap, art, and cleanup time, among others. Pages are also devoted to such once-in-a-while things as fire drills and field trips, as well as those all-important preschool (and life) skills of sharing and using manners. With a deeper nod than usual to those kids who may be having a tough time, Codell writes about "thinking-about-home time," offering a poem that will have kids pondering what adults do when their children aren't around. The sometimes wordy text is a mix of free and inconsistently rhyming verse that can make for a difficult read-aloud; the audience's lack of reading skill precludes this being anything but. In a scratchy, scribbly style reminiscent of preschool, Ramá moves away from her usual round-headed, rosy-cheeked children for a less distinctly drawn classroom full of multiracial kids. While this introduction may help a few pre-preschoolers, there are better options out there. (Picture book. 3-5)
The New York Times Book Review
…[Codell] covers all the nursery classroom basics, and Ramá's mixed-media illustrations are warm, cheerful and inclusive.
—Pamela Paul
School Library Journal
PreS—This book introduces children to what they can expect when going to preschool for the first time. As it opens, the author challenges viewers to find similarities and differences between home and school. Scenes feature a multicultural group of cheery youngsters and include play time, circle time, field trips, clean up, and nap time. Special consideration is also given to manners and dealing with thoughts about missing mom and dad. Ramá's digital artwork is bright and busy and works well in representing the preschoolers' world. However, the writing changes from a rhyming to a non-rhyming text throughout the book with no reason and is clumsy to read aloud. The extensive concern about where the children's parents are and what they are doing could make youngsters anxious instead of calming their fears. A more reassuring choice would be Anne Rockwell's My Preschool (Holt, 2008).—Diane Antezzo, Ridgefield Library, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061455186
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/3/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 961,034
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.60 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Esmé Raji Codell is a teacher and librarian and the author of many award-winning books for children. Even though she has already graduated from preschool, she still loves puppets, sharing, friends, snacks, and the occasional dinosaur. She lives with her family in Chicago, Illinois. You can find more story-time fun and support for your child's precious preschool years at her website.

Sue Ramá has illustrated many award-winning books for children, including Subway Ride, by Heather Lynn Miller, and Yum! Yuck! A Foldout Book of People Sounds, by Linda Sue Park and Julia Durango. She first started illustrating stories while riding to her preschool with her older sister and has been hooked on it ever since. The artist lives in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

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