School’s First Day of School

Adam Rex, illus. by Christian Robinson. Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-59643-964-1
Every so often, a book comes along with a premise so perfect, it’s hard to believe it hasn’t been done before; this is one of those books. As a new school year begins, it isn’t just the students who have trepidations: the building doesn’t quite know what to expect either, and overheard comments such as “I don’t like school” aren’t helping. “Maybe it doesn’t like you either,” thinks the school in response. But even amid lunchtime spills and an embarrassing fire drill “accident,” the school comes to understand that facilitating the noisy, messy activities of the school day are quite literally what he was made to do. Robinson (Last Stop on Market Street) gives the school just a hint of visual personification in his flattened, paint-and-collage artwork, as Rex (Moonday) deftly juggles well-placed jokes and keen insights into feeling comfortable in one’s own skin—or bricks, as the case may be. Ages 4–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/09/2016
Release date: 06/28/2016
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