cover image Giant-Sized Butterflies on My First Day of School

Giant-Sized Butterflies on My First Day of School

Justin Roberts, illus. by Paola Escobar. Putnam, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-51643-9

That fluttery feeling in the stomach when one’s about to try something new? Roberts offers a warmhearted reframe of that sensation in this look at a child’s apprehension about starting school. From the first morning light shining into their bedroom, a child portrayed with tan skin is nervous about the new experience. In the car, Mom recalls her own giant-size butterflies on her first day as a parent (“When you first came—when we met you—we felt the same”). But most importantly, Mom advises not to hold the butterflies inside: “Just let them fly./ ’Cause they were born to be your guide.” In flora-dotted neighborhood scenes, Escobar depicts a group of classmates with varying skin tones approaching the school, each with a swirl of colorful butterflies trailing behind them, until the protagonist bounds through the door with large, vividly flowered wings spread wide. It’s a reassuring pep talk that will have readers finding their own first-day wings. Ages 3–7. (May)