cover image It’s Time for Preschool!

It’s Time for Preschool!

Esmé Raji Codell, illus. by Sue Ramá. Greenwillow, $15.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06

Seldom has the question “What will preschool be like?” been answered in such detail. Codell (The Basket Ball) and Ramá (Daddy Adventure Day) divvy up the answer into 13 areas, including expected behavioral topics (manners, sharing, cleanup) and beautifully empathetic sections on homesickness (“Thinking-about-Home Time”) and getting picked up (“Never never never/ In a thousand million years/ Would Mom or Dad not pick you up,/ So let that ease your fears”). There’s even a spread devoted to fire drills (“How exciting! How noisy! We are safe and sound”). Ramá uses warm, saturated hues and textures to depict a world fully equipped for all kinds of fun (even naptime is seen as an opportunity for dreaming) and chock-full of bright-eyed potential friends. But her pictures take a backseat to Codell’s calm and lengthy explication of the preschool experience (she devotes four pages to Circle Time and four stanzas to musing on what parents may be doing while their child is in school). Whether this no-stone-unturned approach tamps down preschool jitters or feels like TMI will depend largely on the temperament of the reader. Ages 2–5. (July)