cover image First Grade, Here I Come!

First Grade, Here I Come!

Tony Johnston, illus. by David Walker. Scholastic Press, $8.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-545-20143-8

In this upbeat story, a ginger-haired boy eagerly imagines all that awaits him in first grade: wowing the teacher with his counting skills, playing with his friends, and more. Johnston’s verses are a mixed bag, exuding an almost stream-of-consciousness energy and playfulness, but sometimes grasping to satisfy their rhymes (“We’ll be space guys in fat suits,/ so bold and brave and big./ Our mascot will be brave and pink./ Oh, he will be a pig”). Walker’s first-graders are sweet and lively throughout (at one point, the narrator surprises his teacher by bringing his boa constrictor, Huggy Boy, in for show-and-tell), and nervous students may still take inspiration from the boy’s over-the-moon enthusiasm. Ages 5–7. (June)