cover image Tom Goes to Kindergarten

Tom Goes to Kindergarten

Margaret Wild. Albert Whitman & Company, $15.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-8075-8012-7

Legge's (Bamboozled) fun-filled watercolors are as infectious as Australian author Wild's lively tale of a young panda's first day of school. Tom's parents are always too busy working to play monsters or astronauts with him. But on the first day of kindergarten, when Tom won't let go of his parents' legs and his teacher invites his parents and Baby to stay and play, they join right in. They listen to a story, play dress up, paint pictures and build castles in the sandbox. By day two, Tom is ready to be independent, but his parents want to stay. As Tom's mother reluctantly goes home to wash the windows and weed the garden, and his father heads to the office to ""sign a lot of papers,"" even Tom feels sorry for them. Illustrations of the papa panda wearing a newspaper hat and a fish tie while dancing a sailor's hornpipe in his office will tickle youngsters' funny bones, as will Legge's inspired portrayal of the grown panda bears enthusiastically singing ""I'm a little teapot short and stout."" This humorous story about adults rediscovering the satisfaction of creative play will likely allay any anxieties children may have about starting kindergarten. Ages 4-6. (Apr.)