Tuesday, August 15, 2023

When little ones first encounter school - picture books for encouraging [Review & 4-book Giveaway USA/CANADA]

This is a Story by John Schu & illustrated by Lauren Castillo

My thoughts:  This is a lovely progressive book. It shows the young child that education encompasses a story. The beginning of education is letters that build into words that develop into stories. So going to school (or a library) is all about a story. 

A lovely intro to the power of language - written language. Words built into stories built into books that tell about things, people, places - our world, our hearts, our anticipations. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the book: Children’s literacy advocate John Schu and Caldecott Honor recipient Lauren Castillo celebrate the power of finding the perfect book—in a story that’s more relevant than ever.

This is a word on a page.
This is a page in a book.
This is a book on a shelf . . . waiting.

With a sea-horse kite in hand, a child heads out with Dad to the library. On the way they stop at a park, joining lots of people, some of whom are flying kites, too. At the library, a person toting a big pile of books hands over a story on a favorite subject: the sea horse. All around, there are readers poring over books, each with their own questions, ideas to explore, hopes for the future, and imaginations ready to spark. With a warm, lyrical text and tenderly expressive illustrations, John Schu and Lauren Castillo invite us to imagine the myriad ways that books can foster connection and understanding—and how they can empower children, through their own passions, to transform the world.

This Is a School by John Schu & illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison 


My thoughts:
 What a delightful picture book that will ease the young child into his or her school experience. I like also that the sense of "community" is addressed several times through the book.

Cute illustrations are inclusive of a variety of ethnicity and show all working well together and happily sharing experiences.

A delightful book.⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the book: A moving celebration of school and all it may signify: work and play, creativity and trust, and a supportive community that extends beyond walls.

A school isn’t just a building; it is all the people who work and learn together. It is a place for discovery and asking questions. A place for sharing, for helping, and for community. It is a place of hope and healing, even when that community can’t be together in the same room. John Schu, a librarian and former ambassador of school libraries for Scholastic, crafts a loving letter to schools and the people that make up the communities within in a picture book debut beautifully illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison.

And Then Comes School (And Then Comes Series) by Tom Brenner & illustrated by Jen Hill


ISBN: 9781536209136
Hardcover $17.99 US
My thoughts:  A young elementary school child recounts with anticipation the way summer ends with the scents and sights of this time of the year. As these scents and sights and experiences are encountered, they build into events such as shopping for new clothes and school supplies in anticipation of the approaching start of the school year. And then...... it is here - "School"!

Cute. Anticipatory. Joyful. ⭐⭐⭐

About the book: Joyful anticipation is in the air as a child observes cues that the first day of school is coming soon.

Cooler mornings, cicadas buzzing, apples ripening . . . can shopping for school supplies be far behind? The evening before the first day means laying out your outfit, loading up your backpack, and filling a lunch box with your favorite things. When the alarm goes off, there’s Dad’s extra-special breakfast (and, of course, some picture-taking), then the feeling of bubbly excitement as you and your friends climb onto a bus, ready to see your new classroom and meet your teacher. Whether the reader is a child who is eager to return to school or a younger one trying to imagine what school is like, this upbeat and lyrical ode—the fourth in the And Then Comes series—holds sure appeal for returning students and first-timers alike.

Shy Robin and the First Day of School by Jaime Kim

ISBN: 9781536209297
Hardcover $17.99 US

My thoughts: 
A sweet story about shyness at going to new places and meeting new friends. The story shows how shyness can be overcome enabling one to come to the aid of another. A good story for reading to kids at start of school - those new to school as well as those returning. ⭐⭐⭐

About the book: Little hippo finds that looking out for a new friend can turn shyness into bravery in Jaime Kim’s sweetly illustrated story about the first day of school.

Mom always calls Robin a big, brave hippo, but on the first day of school she just wants to hide. Even though Mom gives her a pretty purple headband to make her feel confident, as soon as she enters the classroom she retreats to a safe, quiet corner. Before long, Robin spies a young otter named Marco who is wearing purple bracelets and who seems even quieter and more timid than she is. And when Marco falters while trying to say his name aloud to the class, Robin discovers that her voice can be strong when coming to a new friend’s aid. Might Marco do the same if she needed help? In a gentle story threaded with the familiar moments of a first school experience—seen through the eyes of a child for whom they can be more intimidating than most—Jaime Kim captures the warmth of finding a new friend and the ways that connection can make us all more courageous, no matter how shy we feel.
2 winners - 4 books each
Begins August 15
Ends September 12 @ 12:00 a.m. EDT
No P.O. Boxes - Canada phone number required
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary copies to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given. Prizes are provided and shipped directly to the winner by publisher or publicist. Chat With Vera is not responsible for lost or misdirected prizes.


  1. Prepare early, and don't slack during the summer.

  2. Have them read during the summer.

  3. have an earlier night routine

  4. NO KIDS Great niece is so excited she is counting the days till schcol starts. Her mother is going to do that clock where you mark it HOME WORK - DINNER - PLAY TIME - BED and some where in there are chores

  5. I would have all their supplies that are needed to start the new school year.

  6. Back to school was approached as a wonderful event with lots of fun learning, new friends, and fun things to do. Summer were full of fun family learning, reading daily, and being ever surrounded by tons of appropriate books within the children's reach.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  7. I would take them shopping to get the items on the school list and a new outfit to start off the year.

  8. we would go midnight shopping for school supplies

  9. Keep a box of leftover, unneeded school supplies in your home & replenish it as sales come up

  10. A couple of weeks before back to school I would get them adjusted to an earlier bedtime and they would stay active with their reading over the summer months.

  11. We set some goals for the school year. Budget the educational funds and plan some fieldtrips.

  12. I suggest getting everything ready the night before, including backpack, homework, clothes for the following day and lunch!

  13. Picked up groceries for someone


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