cover image Ming Goes to School

Ming Goes to School

Deirdre Sullivan, illus. by Maja Löfdahl. Skyhorse/Sky Pony, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5107-0050-5

Sullivan and Löfdahl debut with a cozy portrait of the everyday discoveries and accomplishments that school can bring. Their heroine, with a red jumper and pigtails that stick straight out, dives right in to preschool activities like show-and-tell and, later in the year, making snow angels outside; other things take time (the playground slide is daunting at first). Ming appears to be of Asian descent, and her classmates are from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. Sullivan’s text offers poetic reflections on school (“It’s where magic fairy castles are built from sticks... and growing up takes time”), which Löfdahl captures in graceful and subdued watercolor scenes of dress-up tea parties, muddy spring explorations, and more. Best of all, Ming exhibits a quiet confidence and independence from start to finish, which ought to prove inspiring to children who are about to trade days spent at home for ones in new territory. Ages 3–6. (July)