cover image Mae’s First Day of School

Mae’s First Day of School

Kate Berube. Abrams, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2325-4

Mae insists that school is a no-go for her: “What if the other kids didn’t like her, and what if she was the only one who didn’t know how to write, and what if she missed her mother?” She hides in a big tree by the school door and is soon joined on a branch by like-minded girl Rosie and then by “tall lady” Ms. Pearl—whom, readers will quickly surmise, is none other than Mae and Rosie’s teacher. But instead of coaxing the girls down, Ms. Pearl folds her arms stubbornly and announces her intention to stay in the tree, too: “What if the kids don’t like me? Or what if I forget how to spell Tuesday? Or what if I miss my cat?” Berube (Hannah and Sugar) is an astute and funny portraitist of children’s anxieties, and the first day of school is tailor-made for her talents. Ages 3–7. (July)