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Miss Mingo and the First Day of School

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Overview

"Young animal enthusiasts won’t soon forget these unique students or Miss Mingo’s enthusiastic celebration of their diversity." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

If there’s an elephant in the classroom — along with an alligator, a koala, a centipede, an octopus, and who knows what else — it must be Miss Mingo’s class on the fi rst day of school! Miss Mingo, a flashy flamingo, starts off the year by inviting all creatures big and small to share something special about ...

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Overview

"Young animal enthusiasts won’t soon forget these unique students or Miss Mingo’s enthusiastic celebration of their diversity." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

If there’s an elephant in the classroom — along with an alligator, a koala, a centipede, an octopus, and who knows what else — it must be Miss Mingo’s class on the fi rst day of school! Miss Mingo, a flashy flamingo, starts off the year by inviting all creatures big and small to share something special about themselves. Did you know that Cricket hears with his legs, Snake smells with his tongue, and Frog enjoys eating his own skin? Visit this multi-species classroom for a nonfi ction storybook filled with

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Harper's (Me, Too!) entertaining story is less about starting school and more about some amazing animal attributes. The effervescent Miss Mingo-a flamingo-asks her feathered, furry and multi-legged pupils to share something special about themselves, resulting in a hilarious roll-call that enumerates this menagerie's quirky traits. Miss Mingo begins by sipping a shrimp shake upside down. "I'll bet you didn't know that the food I eat keeps me in the pink," she explains. As the day proceeds, each animal takes a turn. `I taste with my suckers,' Octopus said with a slurp... `I hear with my legs,' said Cricket, frowning at Octopus. `Could you please eat more quietly?' " Captions in smaller typeface elaborate on each animal's featured characteristic. Colorful, animated scenes invite readers to linger over the characters' droll expressions and actions, such as a wordless spread of the impromptu pool party that takes place in Pelican's pouch. The funny commentary from these stereotypic class personalities (e.g., a nerdy frog and an alligator who serves as the class goody-goody) keeps the narrative moving and the facts coming. Young animal enthusiasts won't soon forget these unique students or Miss Mingo's enthusiastic celebration of their diversity. Ages 4-7. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature - Melissa J. Rickey
Miss Mingo, an open and energetic pink flamingo, welcomes her students to the first day of school. The class, which includes Narwhal, Giraffe, Alligator, Bird, and other marvelous creatures, gathers on the rug and Miss Mingo asks them to tell the class about themselves—something special. They look at her in silence. Miss Mingo breaks the ice saying, "I'll bet you didn't know that the food I eat keeps me in the pink," and that "I always eat upside down." A bright and festive pastel illustration enhances Miss Mingo's special tidbit about herself. In addition, a brief caption at the bottom of the page provides a factual explanation of the flamingo's diet. This nonfiction information directly relates to the action that Miss Mingo describes. This pattern is carried throughout the book and presents both narrative and nonfiction genres to young children in a natural and fun fashion. Soon Alligator, Narwhol, and Cockroach name their unique characteristics, and specific facts about each are incorporated into variously placed captions. By the end of the day both the students and Miss Mingo have learned wonderful things about one another. By the end of the book and with repeated readings, young readers can begin further research on an animal in the book, or create a class book of their own special human traits and the facts that explain them.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Miss Mingo is a flamingo, and her class includes Hippo, Narwhal, Frog, and Centipede. To get to know one another, she asks the students to share what makes them special and different. She opens the discussion, explaining that it's the food that she eats that keeps her feathers pink. Soon, the other animals join in, either telling about themselves or making comments. The pastel illustrations add a peaceful tone to the book. The unique characteristic of each creature is emphasized in the art and in additional details in smaller print. This book would be useful at the start of school to introduce not only each animal's characteristics but also the notion that every child is unique. This book is a perfect mix of a first-day-of-school story and facts about the natural world. It will be enjoyed by students and teachers.-Christine Markley, Washington Elementary School, Barto, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In Miss Mingo's classroom, the first day is all about getting to know what makes each student unique. She starts with herself, telling them that she is pink because of the food she eats, and demonstrating how she eats it-upside down! Everyone stares at her in awe, and Hippo is more than a little smitten with his pretty teacher. Her students all jump in, sharing what makes them special, while their classmates offer funny, but kind, comments: "Check out that shoe collection," Frog says about Centipede. A change in font separates the story from the sentence or two of facts about each animal. Miss Mingo's menagerie is as varied as a human classroom, with everything from ocean and jungle animals, to insects and creatures from down under. Harper's watercolors deftly illustrate not only the showcased traits, but also the typical kindergarten classroom-floor mats, sink, snack table and bookshelves. Humorous details will encourage repeated readings. The classroom's energy is contagious, and soon-to-be-Kindergarteners will be anxious to get to know the unique talents of their own new classmates. A cute combination of animal fact book and a lesson in kindergarten preparedness. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763641344
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 7/14/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

JAMIE HARPER is the author-illustrator of ME TOO! and DON'T GROWN-UPS EVER HAVE FUN? Of MISS MINGO AND THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, she says, "I like that this book is a blend of fiction and nonfiction, and that Miss Mingo is a funky, fun, contemporary teacher who just loves learning new things."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great Story!

    My 4 year old daughter loves this story! We have reread MANY times. It gives cute information about various animals that my daughter really liked to learn about. Its an easy read aloud bedtime story that I enjoyed too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2006

    Miss Mingo is one CRAZY teacher

    Miss Mingo¿s class is in for a big surprise when they realize the funny flamingo they have for a teacher. It¿s the first day of school and Miss Mingo is excited to learn about the variety of students she has in her classroom. From a long-necked giraffe to a strong little ant and from a spinning web spider to a sleeping elephant, this class has quite the assortment. Not only do they look different, but all the animals have something special to share about themselves. This silly picture book is filled with fun facts about all the animals. Do you know how long a giraffe¿s tongue is? Or know how many teeth an alligator loses? How about this, do you know what a koala eats? Miss Mingo¿s first day of school introductions will fill you up on fun facts about this diverse group of animals. The illustrations in this book are rather silly too, but full of lots of movement and color. There is a lot of detail making the pages very busy and full of life. I would recommend this book to anybody who is nervous about their first day of school. Learn how meeting your classmates can be quite the adventure. This book is most appropriate for students in the early elementary grades. Both boys and girls will find this book to be fabulous and factual.

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