In this winsome, taut story, a timid child warms to the idea of preschool with her mother’s tactical nudging and her own ingenuity. Cherubic Pearl is the smallest dancer at her mother’s ballet school—except for Violet, her stuffed mouse, which she clutches while practicing at a barre she can’t quite reach. “Violet and I already go to school,” Pearl counters when her mom mentions preschool. But after learning that she’ll have a chance to paint a sugar plum fairy and listen to such stories as The Nutcracker, Pearl shifts her stance, announcing that Violet wants to attend preschool after all. It’s a wise decision on the mouse’s part, and both have a fine time during a day that’s fetchingly chronicled in pictures rendered digitally by Fortenberry with lithe lines, soothing hues, and subtle yet effective emotion. This charming antidote to preschool anxiety contains a deftly measured dose of sweetness. Ages 2–5. (July)
The softly colored illustrations, outlined in black, are very appealing and feature a lovely double-page spread of Pearl and her mother attending a classic ballet performance...Tender and sweet comfort.
The quiet, well-phrased text provides the story’s structure as well as moments of understated humor, while letting the expressive illustrations show elements of the story never mentioned in the text, such as a subway ride and a ballet performance. Created digitally, the artwork depicts the children, in particular, with a winsome quality that suits the story well. A pleasing picture book for young dance lovers.
In this winsome, taut story, a timid child warms to the idea of preschool with her mother’s tactical nudging and her own ingenuity...This charming antidote to preschool anxiety contains a deftly measured dose of sweetness.
A muted color palette makes a lovely backdrop for this engaging portrait of a strong parent- child relationship: Pearl feels safe in expressing herself, and her mom’s gentle guidance helps Pearl take ownership over big decisions. Pearl Goes to Preschool is a real treat.
Consider the delicious normalcy to be found in “Pearl Goes to Preschool” (Candlewick, 32 pages, $16.99), a chic little picture book by Julie Fortenberry for 2- to 5-year-olds.... In Ms. Fortenberry’s ink-and-watercolor-like digital illustrations, we can see the preschoolers inside singing, painting and dressing up. With her mother’s gentle encouragement, Pearl comes around to the idea, and in time she joins them.
—The Wall Street Journal
PreS-K—A mother prepares a child for her next phase in life in this gentle picture book about starting preschool. Pearl is used to school—ballet school that is. Her mother teaches dance and Pearl is the youngest and smallest there (apart from Violet, her ballerina mouse). When her mother proposes preschool with children her own age, Pearl is tentative and curious. Mom supplies the answers to Pearl's questions throughout the course of their day: returning to their apartment via subway, drawing and reading, attending a ballet performance, and getting ready for bed. The next morning, Violet and Pearl decide they are ready for school. The story's focus is not on worry or apprehension regarding school, rather the exploration and processing of what it means to try something new. The mother does not push the issue, and lets Pearl guide the conversation as they draw comparisons between ballet and the activities at preschool. Pearl narrates; her three-year-old's voice is precocious and sweet. The illustrations are just as gentle as the story; though rendered digitally, they look like well-executed watercolors. Mom is chic and stylish, and Pearl is adorable with a mop of short curly black hair. Both are white, while the scenes at both schools and the ballet performance show a diverse cast. The illustrations are active as they portray the city life of this two-person family. VERDICT A recommended purchase for back-to-school collections.—Clara Hendricks, Cambridge P.L., MA
A little girl who loves ballet learns that preschool can also be wonderful.
Preschooler Pearl attends the children’s ballet class that her mother teaches. She loves everything about ballet, but now her mother has suggested a regular preschool class. Pearl has her doubts, but her mother reassures her. Pearl can learn to count, says Mom. Pearl responds by performing and counting the basic ballet positions—in a New York City subway car. Mom also lists other exciting things she can do in preschool, such as finger painting and dressing up. There are stories to read in preschool, like The Nutcracker and even new ones. Pearl is finally convinced and is able to assure stuffed bear Violet. The first day is a success for both Pearl and Violet as the child paints, plays with blocks, drums, and dresses up—and all her activities are suitably balletic. The painting is a swan, the music is a march, and the costume is a mouse. All in all, it’s a good time for a little girl, with dancing the best part, of course. The softly colored illustrations, outlined in black, are very appealing and feature a lovely double-page spread of Pearl and her mother attending a classic ballet performance. She and her mother are white, and the other children are diversely represented, including a boy of color in the ballet class.
Tender and sweet comfort. (Picture book. 3-6)