cover image Shy Robin and the First Day of School

Shy Robin and the First Day of School

Jaime Kim. Candlewick, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0929-7

Shyness connects two animals on the first day of school in Kim’s social-emotional story. Though tawny hippo Robin can be “loud,” “funny,” and “full of energy” at home, “Out in the big, busy world,/ I become shy.” School amplifies the protagonist’s emotions—one spread viscerally captures the bigness of the feeling with an image of the subject hugging a caregiver’s legs while shadows of others loom. After locating a “safe and quiet” space at school, Robin finds a kindred spirit in quiet otter Marco. Crisis strikes in the form of a lost headband, but Robin and Marco’s emerging camaraderie saves the day for a heartwarming conclusion. Direct first-person narration astutely captures emotional ups and downs, and smoothly shaded digital illustrations lend a softness to the day’s difficulties. Ages 3–7. (June)