Roar & Sparkles Go To School (Sarah Beth Durst)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Roar & Sparkles Go To School, written by Sarah Beth Durst and illustrated by Ben Whitehouse, a back-to-school story with a scaly twist.

Roar the dragon dreads the end of summer: it means no more playing at the beach with his beloved big sister Sparkles, for one. But more pressingly, he has to go to his first day of school! Roar is scared of what will be expected of him – will he have to breath fire all by himself? Or fly over an erupting volcano? Sparkle assures him that the first day will be easy, and that he will like school. Roar still frets right up to the moment Sparkles walks him to class – but inside, he sees toys, a friendly teacher, and new friends. After a day of fun, Sparkle picks Roar up from class, and the younger dragon presents her with a drawing of his favorite thing in the world: his big sister.

Very sweet. Telling the well-worn story of the apprehension before the first day of school, the dragon-themed setting and characters inject some fun and color. These details are clever, such as burnt sandwiches for lunch and a Cindragonella storybook (in which the heroine declines waiting to be rescued in favor of becoming a brave knight herself – AWESOME). The vivid, colorful illustrations can feel a little busy at times, but also work in some truly delightful visual gags. The length is great, and JJ loved it, so this one is definitely Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Milk Goes To School (Terry Border)

Hello, everyone! For our book today, we chose Milk Goes To School by Terry Border, a story about making friends and what can happen when we rush to judgement.

It’s Milk’s first day of school, and she’s nervous. Her dad gives her a new backpack and tells her that she is “la creme de la creme,” so she tries to be confident and face her fears head-on. But a series of misunderstandings and snap judgements turn a few of the kids against her, and some decide that she is “spoiled.” Will Milk be able to get through her first day, and prove that she is not spoiled, but sweet?

This book had some ups and downs, to be frank. On the positive, Border’s food model photography, which comprises the art of the book, is full of life and personality, and brings an incredible amount of character to what would otherwise be inanimate objects. And for the most part, the story is good; it deals with the fact that a simple misunderstanding over a word or action can lead us to assume too much about a person, and encourages the reader to look at others from their perspectives, which is novel for a book like this. The text is FILLED with food puns, so take that as you will, as I know puns can be a little divisive. The length was also a bit much for baby bookworms, but JJ made it through okay, and this books could conceivably be intended for older readers anyway. I guess what bothered me was the resolution, which seemed very swift, abrupt, and a bit too tidy, especially after Milk was bullied so mercilessly by some of the other characters. More realistic, perhaps, but with a book about talking food items, I guess realism wasn’t really what I was expecting. Still, this one had some nice elements, and JJ loved the photos, so this one is Baby Bookworm approved.

School’s First Day Of School (Adam Rex)

Hello, everyone! Today, we read School’s First Day Of School, written by Adam Rex and illustrated by Christian Robinson! This is a very cute story about how the first day of school can be nerve-wracking for everyone, even the school itself.

One summer, they build a special building on an empty lot, and they name it Frederick Douglass Elementary. School thinks that’s a very nice name for himself, and he enjoys spending his days with Janitor, who comes to clean him. He tells Janitor as much, only to be surprised by his reply: soon, School will be filled with teachers and children who come to learn and play! How scary! Will they like School? Will they be nice to him? Will he make any friends like Janitor? The story follows School through his tumultuous first day and shows that even School gets first-day jitters.

This was a very sweet book. The illustrations are cute and colorful, and really bring School and his inhabitants to life, and the story is just great. It’s perfect for any child who might be feeling a bit unsure about heading to school. The length is fine for baby bookworms, but probably even better for older, school-aged children. We enjoyed it! Baby Bookworm approved!