Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten!

Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten!

by Hyewon Yum
     
 

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It's a child's first day of kindergarten, but who is worried about all the new people and the different things he'll meet--the child? No! The mother. In a refreshing reversal of roles, the child takes it upon himself to comfort and reassure his mother that everything will be fine, she'll get used to him going to big-kid school, and yes, he is ready for the first

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Overview

It's a child's first day of kindergarten, but who is worried about all the new people and the different things he'll meet--the child? No! The mother. In a refreshing reversal of roles, the child takes it upon himself to comfort and reassure his mother that everything will be fine, she'll get used to him going to big-kid school, and yes, he is ready for the first day of kindergarten. Utterly charming in its simplicity, Yum playfully uses size and color to reveal emotions of this milestone beginning.

Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten! is a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2012

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Anxieties can make anyone feel small and blue, and that’s exactly how Yum (The Twins’ Blanket) portrays a worried mother whose son is readying for his first day of kindergarten. “What if you don’t have time to finish your sandwich at lunch?” she asks, barely tall enough to peer her blueberry-tinged face over the edge of the table at her full-size son, who clearly can’t wait for the big day to start. “We don’t know anyone here. I miss your old teachers and your friends,” she says later, looking forlorn and tiny at the front steps of the school, which her son climbs with the canny look of a seasoned pro. Is Mom really as worried as she looks—or is the boy projecting his fears onto her in order to maintain his persona as a confident “big boy”? Although some readers may suspect the latter—especially when the boy has his own brief blue period at the kindergarten threshold—Yum isn’t telling. And therein lies the joy of this inventively styled, deeply empathic book. Ages 4–7. Agent: Sean McCarthy, Sheldon Fogelman Agency. (July)
From the Publisher

I"n the enchanting world of Hyewon Yum ('There Are No Scary Wolves,' 'The Twins’ Blanket'), parents are the frantic ones while children remain calm and confident. Mostly. Here, Mom worries that the school is big and that her 5-year-old could get lost. 'Mom, it’s not that big,' he tells her. 'I think it’s just right for a big boy like me.' But by the time they arrive at the classroom, his bright pink cheeks have faded to blue, and he has literally shrunk in size. Their roles flip back and forth until, at the end of the day, the boy assures his nervous mother that school is 'awesome.' So is yet another book by Yum. "--The New York Times Book Review

"This sweet, endearing book provides an extraordinary opportunity for parents and children to share their mutual fears and reassure one another as the big day approaches. Fantastic.”--School Library Journal

"...a charming, sensitive and fresh-feeling antidote for this fraught time.”--The Wall Street Journal

"Yum’s (Last Night, rev. 1/09; The Twins’ Blanket, rev. 9/11) breezy illustrations are spot on, the mom’s baby-boy-blue tint aptly reflecting the story’s small-child anxiety.”--Horn Book, starred

"Yum has perfectly captured the emotional ups and downs of both parent and child in a visually expressive work that will shore up adults as they send their children off on that momentous day.”--Kirkus, starred

"[an] inventively styled, deeply empathic book.”--Publishers Weekly, starred

Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Yum aptly captures the concerns of both parent and child on this major milestone day. In an interesting twist, our narrator, a little boy, eagerly prepares for his first day in "the big kids' school" while his mother is reticent and overly cautious. He has a moment of concern when they reach the classroom door, but as soon as his smiling teacher greets him, he knows he is ready for kindergarten. He enters the classroom and makes friends right away. At the end of the day, he finds his mother nervously waiting for him in the school yard. Just as she has calmed her fears, he asks if he can ride the bus the next day. Yum's use of color, proportion, and facial expression deftly expresses the feelings of these two characters. There are no extraneous lines in either the text or the illustrations. Together, they convey the emotions of both parent and child. For example, when the little boy is feeling self-confident and his mother nervous, he is seen in color and much larger than she is. The hug they share after school, when both are "normal" size, is full of warmth. Her positive approach will be appreciated by parents as well as children and will help assuage the first-day jitters of both. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
PreS-K—This book is a delightfully helpful twist on kids' apprehensions as they make their first foray into the classroom. It shows that their parents are nervous, too, via endearing artwork that conveys emotions through color and size. In the beginning, the young boy is drawn larger and much more robust than his mom, glowing with healthy color and moving with excitement and energy. His mother appears tiny and blue and timid, barely peeking out over the covers on her bed and curling up behind her son's backpack. When she is greeted by another parent, a rosy tint begins to show on her face, indicating she feels better about this new adventure. Then it's the son's turn to be small again, and the blue shadow of apprehension creeps across his face. His new teacher is kind, though, and he marches independently into the room, ruddy in complexion and strong-limbed. Poor Mom is blue as she waves good-bye and as she anxiously waits for her son at the end of the day. When they reunite, both are blooming with warm colors-until, that is, the little boy asks if he can ride the bus the next day. Humorously, the mom shrinks a tad and turns blue (and maybe a bit green). This sweet, endearing book provides an extraordinary opportunity for parents and children to share their mutual fears and reassure one another as the big day approaches. Fantastic.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR
Kirkus Reviews
Yum, known for using text and artwork to explore emotions (There Are No Scary Wolves, 2010, etc.), looks at the first day of school from two points of view--that of a little boy who is more than ready and a nervous mother not quite prepared to let him go. The author's watercolors are the true standout here, the colors and relative sizes of the characters masterfully conveying their emotions--many spreads could stand on their own without the text at all. Readers first see the pair when the 5-year-old shakes his mother awake on the first day of school; he is huge and pink-faced, towering over his tiny mother, who is blue-faced and cowering in the bed. As the text enumerates her worries (that he won't have time to eat, she forgot some vital supply, he'll be late, he'll get lost, he won't have any friends), the exuberant boy's facial expressions, body language and oral responses counter her fears…until they reach his classroom door, and their sizes and colors flip. He quickly gets over it and has a great day at school, greeting his blue-toned mother exuberantly at dismissal, and the two, regular sizes and colors again now that they have survived the day, reunite and share the day's events. Yum has perfectly captured the emotional ups and downs of both parent and child in a visually expressive work that will shore up adults as they send their children off on that momentous day. (Picture book. 4-7, adult)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374350048
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
07/03/2012
Pages:
36
Sales rank:
194,971
Product dimensions:
10.10(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Hyewon Yum was a very nervous mother when her own son started kindergarten. She's since realized that yes, he was ready for big-kid school. She is the creator of three previous picture books: Last Night, a Fiction Honorable Mention for the Bologna Ragazzi Award and winner of the Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Illustration; There Are No Scary Wolves, winner of the Society of Illustrators' Founder's Award; and The Twins' Blanket, a Junior Library Guild selection. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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