We all get them: those pesky, first day of school jitters. Whether you are a child, a parent or an educator, it’s virtually impossible to lie in bed the night before that very first day without feeling the weight of a million new eyes from a million new faces staring and wondering, always wondering. The parent: Will my child be liked? The student: Will I have friends? The educator: Will my students like me? None of us are spared!
Enter School’s First Day of School, by the indomitable duo Adam Rex, with illustrations by Christian Robinson. School- that is Frederick Douglass Elementary- has just been built, and his first day is suddenly about to begin. When the Janitor tells School that the kids will soon arrive, School is not sure how he feels about it. And, alas, once the day begins, School is not happy to learn that some kids don’t like him, and others would rather be any place else but inside his doors. As the day progresses, however, School begins to understand his greater purpose, just as the kids begin to understand why they, too, will eventually thrive within their classrooms. And at the end of the day, wouldn’t you know it, School is eager for the kids to come back again the following day.
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This book is a perfect example of why I love children’s literature. Just when you think you have seen it all, two brilliant authors/illustrators come along and turn the first day of school story on its head. Here, Rex and Robinson give that trite story such a fresh twist that it becomes, on first read, a book you know deserves a permanent spot in your library. The anthromorphization of school, simply put, is genius. It’s such a unique and engaging way to talk with your children about perspective, about the fact that everyone gets nervous before the first day of school, even school itself. Walking through School’s first day- listening to his anxieties about the kids bounding through his front doors and then witnessing his inner turmoil when he realizes some kids hate him and he must, therefore, be awful- provides kids with a pitch perfect and emotionally resonant story of what so many of us go through when embarking on a new experience surrounded by new people. And though that first day may be scary, the final bell rings before you know it, and you walk through the big schoolhouse doors feeling strangely at ease, already looking forward to what the next day may bring. This book gets two trunks up without a doubt…. Not to mention a ton of A+s too! Go get it now, and read it with your little one before his first day of school. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Want the book? Get it here! School’s First Day of School, by Adam Rex. *This is an affiliate link.