Happy book birthday to WE DON’T EAT OUR CLASSMATES and DEAR SUBSTITUTE!
As school winds down, and we ramp up our summer plans, the beginning of a new school year is the last thing we’re thinking about.
But reading at my house is an essential part of our summer fun, and the following books are ones we’ll read, re-read, and discuss before the kids head back to school.
1.WE DON’T EAT OUR CLASSMATES, by Ryan T. Higgins
“I didn’t make any friends!” Penelope cried. “None of the children wanted to play with me!”
“Penelope Rex,” her father asked, “did you eat your classmates?”
“Well…maybe sort of just a little bit.”
I laughed out loud at this hilarious and heartwarming story of first day of school jitters. When Penelope shows up to school to realize that she’s the only dinosaur, the reader realizes trouble is on its way.
Expressive illustrations paired with sparse and witty text makes for the perfect read- aloud, and a great way to talk about how kids are feeling about going back to school.
2. DEAR SUBSTITUTE, by Liz Garton Scanlon, Audrey Vernick, and Christ Raschka
You’re not quite right today. The substitute doesn’t know how to pronounce anything.
I love how this epistolary picture book shows the frustrations of a kid whose beloved teacher doesn’t show up. Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick skillful word choices are enhanced by Chris Raschka’s whimsical illustrations. This story will evoke discussion on flexibility and transitions and giving change a chance. It’s an incredibly fun classroom story that will resonate with every kid.
3. ADVENTURES TO SCHOOL; REAL LIFE JOURNEYS OF STUDENTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, by Baptist Paul and Miranda Paul and Isabel Munoz
The rickshaw is so full that all of us can barely fit inside. Legs and arms hang out, and we have to hold on tight. My backpack is tied to the rickshaw so it won’t fall.
Wow. My 7 year old was mesmerized by the stories, the carefully chosen facts, and the idea of kids around the world going to school, just like he does, but getting there very differently. The book evoked discussion and gave us a space to really discuss what life is like in other countries.
The illustrations enhance the text by engaging the reader with expressive representations of many cultures.
What are your favorite back to school books?