cover image Starting School

Starting School

Allan Ahlberg, Janet Ahlberg. Viking Children's Books, $11.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-670-82175-4

In what amounts to both a primer and a catalogue of a schoolchild's ``firsts,'' the Alhbergs have combined a pleasing design with salient bits of information, driven home by a band of roly-poly children. The level of schooling is not referred to, so this works for either preschoolers or kindergartners. A variety of scenarios are imagined and depicted: one child weeps on a teacher's lap, while parents, too, shed a few tears on the way out the door. Singing, learning to read, cleaning up the room, getting used to a rabbitthe day is over before the children realize it. The next day, those who had been accompanied by their parents only 24 hours earlier head out to school on their own. Each day and week of the semester is packed with activities and realities: the children are not always happy, teachers not always serenegrumpiness is part of the school term, too. Children looking at this book will sense the Alhbergs' honest approach; this is a generous and sprightly view of school. Ages 2-6. (Sept.)