The Best Thing about Kindergarten

Overview

It?s graduation day and Ms. Appleby asks her students,  ?What is the best thing about Kindergarten?? They all have an answer?and every answer is different. But Ms. Appleby has a secret answer that will surprise them all!

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Overview

It’s graduation day and Ms. Appleby asks her students,  “What is the best thing about Kindergarten?” They all have an answer—and every answer is different. But Ms. Appleby has a secret answer that will surprise them all!

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Sarah Harrison Smith
…great for reading aloud…Children moving up a grade will delight in recalling their favorite experiences, whether, like the book's "monkey bar superstar," they lived for recess, or got the biggest kick out of learning to write "many wonderful words." Drawn with a sketchy but confident pencil line, and painted in the clear, saturated colors of fruit lollipops, Qin Leng's illustrations bring the children, and all their familiar exuberance, to the page.
Publishers Weekly
The kids in Mrs. Appleby’s kindergarten class are getting ready to graduate, but there’s time for one last activity: “Who can guess what is the best thing about kindergarten?” she asks. Guesses include the playhouse, the writing center, and recess, and Mrs. Appleby affirms each suggestion: “You are a monkey bar superstar,” she tells a boy named Will, adding, “We still haven’t found the answer” (it turns out to be the children themselves). Leng’s cozy, smudgy-edged art expresses the loving disorder of a kindergarten classroom, and Lloyd’s light touch will help readers moving on from kindergarten say goodbye on a celebratory note. Last day of school stories are rare compared to ones about first days, and this one is a keeper. Ages 4–8. (June)
From the Publisher
"A picture book that’s great for reading aloud" - New York Times

Starred Review- Kirkus

On graduation day, a patient teacher leads her class through a guessing game about what has been the best thing about kindergarten.

Mrs. Appleby is proud of her class. They’ve made hats and decorations and learned a special song to sing for their parents. But kindergarten is not over quite yet—there is time for one last, and most important, lesson. “Who can guess what is the best thing about kindergarten?” The students come up with lots of good answers—calendar time, the playhouse center, the block corner, arts and crafts time, math time, the writing center, storytime, recess—but none is correct, although Mrs. Appleby kindly reinforces the accomplishments and enjoyment her students have gained from each of these activities. The guessing game is interrupted by the graduation ceremony, which goes without a hitch, the proud students each doing their parts and receiving their diplomas. And at the end, she finally shares the answer: “You, my students, are the best thing about kindergarten.” The hurried, scribbly feel of Lang’s illustrations lend them the busy, hectic reality of a kindergarten classroom, especially on the exciting last day of school. She neatly captures the messiness and creativity that characterize young children, and her kindergarteners are a nice mix of races and genders.

The best thing about this book? Its reassuring look back at all the things the happy and successful students have enjoyed about kindergarten—equally valuable at the beginning and the end of the school year. (Picture book. 3-5)

Starred Review - Publishers Weekly
The kids in Mrs. Appleby’s kindergarten class are getting ready to graduate, but there’s time for one last activity: “Who can guess what is the best thing about kindergarten?” she asks. Guesses include the playhouse, the writing center, and recess, and Mrs. Appleby affirms each suggestion: “You are a monkey bar superstar,” she tells a boy named Will, adding, “We still haven’t found the answer” (it turns out to be the children themselves). Leng’s cozy, smudgy-edged art expresses the loving disorder of a kindergarten classroom, and Lloyd’s light touch will help readers moving on from kindergarten say goodbye on a celebratory note. Last day of school stories are rare compared to ones about first days, and this one is a keeper. Ages 4–8. (June)

Review from "Inside Schools-Your Independent guide to NYC public Schools"
Kindergarten Countdown, Best Books to Read!
Instead of focusing on fears, this charming book written by a kindergarten teacher highlights the best things about kindergarten and invites readers to come up with their own ideas. “This is a great way to switch from nerves to the positive aspects of the experience,” says Bird. When Mrs. Appleby asks her graduating kindergarten class to tell her the best thing about school, every child has a different answer—the playhouse, the block corner, recess. But Mrs. Appleby surprises them all with hers: the students. The delicate, scribbly illustrations and simple, rhythmic text lend the story a comforting feel.

Flowering Minds - Top 10 Books for New Kindergarteners
On kindergarten graduation day, Mrs. Appleby has one last final question “What is the best thing about kindergarten?”  Her students have different answers ranging from calendar time, imagination time, to recess. But readers will keep flipping the pages to find Mrs. Appleby’s secret special answer.

Discover, Explore, Learn - Chosen as one of the 12 Best Books about Starting School

Reviews and Awards for Jennifer Lloyd's Ella's Umbrellas:

- Canadian Toy Testing Council Top 10 Great Books for Children 2011
- Nominated for the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize, 2010!
- Winner of an Alcuin Award, 2010
 
“In this season of April showers, a book about umbrellas is welcome relief and good company indoors.” - Montreal Gazette
 
“A kindergarten teacher by day in Blainville, Quebec, Lloyd understands the way in which children cling to their possessions and find it difficult to share. Her text is light and rhythmic, setting just the right tone for reading aloud.”- Quill & Quire

School Library Journal
K-Gr 1—Readers follow a kindergarten class on graduation day in this sweet picture book. Mrs. Appleby tries to gather the distracted youngsters and asks, "Who can guess what is the best thing about kindergarten?" They shout out their responses: calendar time, the playhouse center, the block corner, and many other classroom staples, but cannot find the right answer. At the end of the ceremony, Mrs. Appleby reveals that her students are the best thing about kindergarten. The bright and detailed cartoon illustrations provide a nice addition to the minimal text. Children will enjoy picking out the many details, especially the things they recognize from their own classrooms. This is a wonderful book for teachers to read aloud at the end of the school year.—Brooke Rasche, La Crosse Public Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
On graduation day, a patient teacher leads her class through a guessing game about what has been the best thing about kindergarten. Mrs. Appleby is proud of her class. They've made hats and decorations and learned a special song to sing for their parents. But kindergarten is not over quite yet--there is time for one last, and most important, lesson. "Who can guess what is the best thing about kindergarten?" The students come up with lots of good answers--calendar time, the playhouse center, the block corner, arts and crafts time, math time, the writing center, storytime, recess--but none is correct, although Mrs. Appleby kindly reinforces the accomplishments and enjoyment her students have gained from each of these activities. The guessing game is interrupted by the graduation ceremony, which goes without a hitch, the proud students each doing their parts and receiving their diplomas. And at the end, she finally shares the answer: "You, my students, are the best thing about kindergarten." The hurried, scribbly feel of Leng's illustrations lend them the busy, hectic reality of a kindergarten classroom, especially on the exciting last day of school. She neatly captures the messiness and creativity that characterize young children, and her kindergarteners are a nice mix of races and genders. The best thing about this book? Its reassuring look back at all the things the happy and successful students have enjoyed about kindergarten--equally valuable at the beginning and the end of the school year. (Picture book. 3-5)
Children's Literature - Janice DeLong
Fourteen-year-old, Simon Mugford, has lost his memory and his family. In an attempt to help him regain his life, Grandpa has given Simon a sketch book and an interesting writing instrument to record not only his thoughts but his impressions. As the book opens, Simon's grandpa is leaving for his night job while Griselda, Simon's watchdog-of-a-sitter, being her usual horrible self, is threatening him with an even more miserable life than he is presently living. When Grandpa does not return from his work the following morning, Griselda sends Simon to Grimstown Academy, ostensibly to get the poor orphan out of the house. With bullies, harsh masters, and unmerciful teasing abounding, the audience is relieved when Simon, aka "Smudge" escapes through a dungeon with his only friend, Gil. However, as the boys adventure through the land of Emogen, identities come undone: Gil becomes an enemy, sort of; an enemy becomes a friend, truly; Dorfgum, the mentor, is revealed to be a mainstay from Simon's earlier life; and the worst villain of all appears to have followed Simon and Gil from the land of reality to the land of Emogen. Early descriptions in the book rival Lemony Snicket for grim foreboding, and Grimstown Academy, smacks of Bloor's Academy of Charlie Bone fame with its bizarre characters and spooky rooms. In the eyes of this reviewer, a long-time fantasy fan, this is a very disjointed story. The only connecting thread throughout the book is Simon's sense of humor. Reviewer: Janice DeLong
School Library Journal
Gr 5–9—Fourteen-year-old Simon Mugford has a problem. Afflicted with a peculiar form of amnesia, he awakens each morning not remembering anything of his past, including what happened the previous day. But when his grandfather's creepy housekeeper enrolls him in the Grimstown Academy of Orphans, amnesia is the least of his worries. Simon and his two sidekicks careen from one misadventure to another with barely a moment to catch their breaths as they battle a wicked headmaster, venomous snakes, creeping vines, and a stone dragon. Unfortunately, a meandering plot, minor characters that are plucked from thin air only to disappear a few pages later, and the author's asides ("He used words that I can't possibly repeat without giving this chapter an R-rating.") are more than a little annoying. However, there is something about the story that draws readers in. Perhaps it is the pluckiness of the boy-hero, perhaps the magical elements beginning with Simon's mysterious past and his quest through the fantastical world of Emogen. Though it is unlikely that Osmond has created the next Harry Potter-like phenomenon, she may appeal to kids who have become addicted to fantasy and magic thanks to J. K. Rowling.—Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781897476826
  • Publisher: Simply Read Books
  • Publication date: 6/10/2013
  • Pages: 36
  • Sales rank: 310,680
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.50 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Lloyd is an award-winning author of One Winter Night, Looking for Loons and Ella’s Umbrellas and Murilla Gorilla. When she is not at her writing desk, she works as a kindergarten teacher in Blainville, Quebec. Her students provide her with a wealth of ideas, as do her own two children. 

Qin Leng was born in Shanghai (China), moved to Bordeaux (France), then to Montreal (Canada). She is now living and working as a designer and animator in Toronto, Canada. She graduated from The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema in 2006 (Montreal, CA) with a Bachelor degree in Film Animation. She has received many awards for her animated short films and artworks and has worked as an animator and designer at the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal, CORE digital pictures and Yowza Animation in Toronto.

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Read an Excerpt

It was the last day of kindergarten. The students were getting ready for their graduation.
Mrs. Appleby looked at her class proudly. They had made special hats and colorful decorations. They knew how to sing their graduation song.

 “Carpet places everyone,” Mrs. Appleby said. “We still have time for one last guessing game.”

 

She waited for Tabitha to fix her hat ... and for Jonathan to tie his shoe.

Then she began: “Who can guess what is the best thing about kindergarten?”

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