A Tiger Tail (Or What Happened to Anya on Her First Day of School) (Mike Boldt; Simon & Schuster Books for Young Children, 2016)
This picture book is a fitting theme for this month, as my youngest daughter just started kindergarten. It’s going . . . ok. She tells me that she cries a little bit every day. She also brought home lice the second week. She has not, however, grown a tiger tail, as Anya, the main character in A Tiger Tail, spontaneously does the night before her first day of school. Anya tries every way imaginable to remove or hide the tail, all to no avail. Mom tells Anya to calm down or she’ll make herself sick, and later, to hurry up or she’ll miss the bus. Anya thinks that these are both good ideas, but her parents catch on to her desire to stay home. Eventually Anya arrives at school, and discovers that her tiger tail pales in comparison to the mannerisms and physical qualities of her classmates. I particularly like the little fellow with his finger lodged up his nose and teacher’s beaver teeth. Mike Boldt’s illustrations are playful and his drawings of people fantastic. A Tiger Tail ranks at the top of its class for back-to-school reading, but will entertain all year long. Check out the other picture books written and/or illustrated by this Canadian who is making a name for himself in the picture book industry.
The Way to School (Rosemary McCarney with Plan International. Second Story Press, 2015)
This is a highly visual book filled with awe-inspiring photographs of how children around the globe get to school. Although it contains limited text, read it when there is sufficient time to mull over the pictures. There is so much to look at from the geography, the children’s faces, clothing, what they are carrying, and, in some instances, the animal friends that help transport them to school. The Way to School will spark conversation and questions in children between 3 and 10 years of age. It could sit on a coffee table as easily as on a child’s bookshelf or in a classroom. Second Story Press has published a number of other books authored by Rosemary McCarney with Plan International; Because I am a Girl and Every Day is Malala Day would also appeal to middle grade audiences.
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse (Kevin Henkes; Greenwillow Books, 1996)
I discovered this picture book from a parenting magazine’s list of ‘best picture books of all time’. My eldest daughter is pleased that it is renewed again from the library – this time we have the shiny new 20th anniversary edition in our hands! ‘Wow’ is about all I can say. Leave yourself some extra time to read this book and enjoy the multiple illustrations on most pages – being 20 years old, its word count is longer than most contemporary picture books that are trending shorter in length. Trust me, though, you’ll be enraptured by every word as Lilly takes her new purple plastic purse to Mr. Slinger’s class for a day. Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse is a fun, relatable story for children; once you read this picture book, I have a feeling that about all you’ll be able to say is ‘wow’.