Billy and the Big New School

Laurence Anholt, Author, Catherine Anholt, Illustrator Albert Whitman & Company $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8075-0743-8
The Anholts (The Big Book of Families) offer a poignant but reassuring treatment of the anxiety a child feels facing the first day at a new school. Billy confides his fears to the birds in his backyard; he's worried not just about getting lost, but also about the new shoes his mother has bought him, ""with laces that were hard to tie."" The day before the big start, Billy rescues a young sparrow that is not strong enough to fly. Using a characteristic mix of vignettes, spot art and large-scale illustrations, the Anholts affectionately juxtapose the drama of Billy's sheltering of the bird with the preparations made for school. While Billy makes the bird a nest in a shoebox, his mother is ironing and writing his name on his clothes. The parallel becomes explicit the next morning, when Billy and his mother release the recovered sparrow: ""`You have to fly away,' he whispered. `You have to learn to take care of yourself--like me.'"" The drawings of the school (showing children romping on the playground, the kindly teacher, the toilets, the painting area and the computer) will kindle young children's interest, addressing both the strangeness of a new school as well as its possibilities for promoting friendships and positive experiences. As school-jitters stories go, this has an advantage apart from its gracefulness: because the Anholts never spell out Billy's exact situation, their book will be equally appropriate to children facing their first day of kindergarten or moving from one school to another. Ages 4-6. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.