NICOLETTA COSTA was born in Trieste (Italy) in 1953, where she was brought up and still lives today. After graduating in Architecture in 1978 at the University of Venice (Italy), she dedicated herself exclusively to her great passion: illustrating and writing books for children. Her most famous character is Julio Bunny an overly timid rabbit, but good natured, with long fuzzy ears and a great passion for carrots. NICOLETTA COSTA has been awarded various international prizes: 1986 Catalonia d'Illustraciòn Award (Barcelona) 1988 Golden Pen Award (Belgrade) 1989 Christian Andersen 1994 Christian Andersen 2002 Grinzane Junior Award
Julio Bunny at Leo Wolf's Schoolby Nicoletta Costa, Christine Carlson
Do you remember your first day of school? Were you nervous? Excited? Maybe both? Join Julio Bunny and his wonderful friends on their first day at Leo Wolf's School! Children will immediately connect to the characters as they face the challenging, yet rewarding experience of learning!
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- Age Range:
- 3 - 6 Years
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The plot in a nutshell is that a young bunny, goose, hedgehog, mouse and snail are in an orchard when a traveling teacher, Mr. Wolf, and his assistant show up with a portable school (blackboard, bench, notebooks, etc.). The teacher discovers that none of them have ever been to school and so decides to teach them to write their names, and then he packs up to leave. Some aspects of this book are admirable. Some of the main characters start out apprehensive about attending school and worried about what the teacher, Mr. Wolf, will be like. They then discover that Mr. Wolf "seems to be a very nice teacher." Most of the characters try their best and are successful at learning to write their names. They end the story hoping that the Mr. Wolf will return to teach them more, and Julio Bunny is very pleased at his work from that day. But some parts of this book are very disturbing. First of all, this book appears to encourage children to trust strangers. The wolf first appears as a stranger showing up at the orchard. They even identify him as being a stranger. The stranger is "scary" to one child, and then he introduces himself as a teacher and invites everyone to come back to his car to see his traveling school. There are no adults present to confirm that the wolf is who he says he is. The children willingly go to a stranger's car just based on the stranger's word that he is really a person of authority. This is seriously creepy and I do not understand how it ever got past an editor in today's world. There are some other parts that could also use a bit of revision. For example, when one student becomes frustrated with his work, the teacher consoles him. That's admirable, but in the background the "brave and smart" snail is telling the him "Oh, don't be like that." So... how is it brave or smart to show a lack of compassion? According to the back of the book, the bunny is suppose to "[mimic] a child's development" and "children enjoy the fun-filled stories because they recognize themselves in Julio Bunny's experiences.." I can completely see what the author was intending to achieve by making school and teachers less intimidating concepts to children, but I think that this book ends up teaching children some things that I would not want them to learn.
This is a sweet story that deals with the nervousness children experience when starting school and the difference a teacher can make. Julio and his friends have never been to school and they learn the joy of learning through Leo Wolf. Leo is gentle and encouraging to all the students and Julio goes to bed eager to learn more. Just what you would want a child to feel about school! I recommend this book for young children, especially those embarking on their first school experience.