cover image Pearl Goes to Preschool

Pearl Goes to Preschool

Julie Fortenberry. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0743-9

In this winsome, taut story, a timid child warms to the idea of preschool with her mother’s tactical nudging and her own ingenuity. Cherubic Pearl is the smallest dancer at her mother’s ballet school—except for Violet, her stuffed mouse, which she clutches while practicing at a barre she can’t quite reach. “Violet and I already go to school,” Pearl counters when her mom mentions preschool. But after learning that she’ll have a chance to paint a sugar plum fairy and listen to such stories as The Nutcracker, Pearl shifts her stance, announcing that Violet wants to attend preschool after all. It’s a wise decision on the mouse’s part, and both have a fine time during a day that’s fetchingly chronicled in pictures rendered digitally by Fortenberry with lithe lines, soothing hues, and subtle yet effective emotion. This charming antidote to preschool anxiety contains a deftly measured dose of sweetness. Ages 2–5. [em](July) [/em]