And Then Comes School

Candlewick. Jun. 2023. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781536209136.
PreS-Gr 3–This book stands out among back-to-school titles, as it describes the last days of summer leading to the first day of class. Lyrical prose softly paints a sensory picture of these days, as in, “the breeze carries the scent of ripening apples, and tall sunflowers, full of seeds, begin to droop.” The family is relaxed and calm without any of the back-to-school rush typically associated with this time of year. A special first day outfit is picked out, pictures are taken, and with eager excitement, the main character sets out for school. As with the previous books in the series, Brenner uses a repeated pattern of “When” and “Then” to tell the story: “When the day before school finally arrives...Then run and play on this last day of vacation.” Hill’s soft watercolor illustrations follow the family’s end-of-summer activities, perfectly matching the text. The family presents as white, but there is a diverse array of children and teachers at the school.
VERDICT This is an ideal transition from one season to next, especially for children just beginning their school years. It is also a great example to use in narrative writing units.

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