cover image A Place Called Kindergarten

A Place Called Kindergarten

Jessica Harper, , illus. by G. Brian Karas. . Putnam, $15.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-24226-7

In this endearing story from the team behind I Like Where I Am , a boy named Tommy fails to show up at the barn one morning to deliver his daily dose of treats and affection. Four worried animals—a cow, sheep, horse and hen—decide to find out why. The bewildering answer from the farm dog causes quite a stir. "Kindergarten! Where's that?... What does it look like?... Will he ever come back?" The text provides a comical reverse translation: "(If you'd been there, eavesdropping, it would have sounded something like this: 'Baabaabaabaamoomoomoomoo Cluckcluckcluckclucknaynaynaynay ')." Their anxious repartee continues until the arrival of a yellow school bus. An ebullient, paint-spattered Tommy announces, "I've been to Kindergarten !... And I learned lots !" His newly acquired knowledge meshes nicely with the alphabetized treats he bestows ("B is for biscuit ! That's for you!" he says to the sheep). The artwork's warm golden hues and soft edges reflect the gentleness and mutual respect between boy and animals, and the overheard dialogue between the barnyard residents will invite youngsters to chime in with the baas and moos. Tommy's enthusiasm for his first day of school, wrapped within this story of friendship, will send a reassuring message to would-be kindergartners. Ages 4-up. (July)