Book Review of This is a School
The Children’s Book Review
What to expect: Community, School Life, and Belonging.
This Is a School, the debut picture book by children’s librarian and public speaker John Schu, is a beautiful and wonderfully inclusive delight.
Veronica Miller Jamison’s cheerful illustrations draw you into an elementary school where everyone is welcome. Schu’s story starts with the most essential part of the school—a kid! She’s like kids everywhere, meeting her teacher, walking the halls, and belonging to the community that makes up her school. The prose is gentle and comforting, reminding readers that a school is a place to learn, be happy, and a place to grow, even when we make mistakes!
The book even obliquely references times like the pandemic, when someone is sick and can’t come to school, and how that community is still connected and caring for one another, even when they are physically apart.
Schu’s all-embracing story and Jamison’s inviting illustrations bid children come in and stay awhile in a place where children are embraced for who they are. Who wouldn’t want to go to school? We especially loved seeing a little girl make a mistake and be sad about that mistake, and persevere and continue at school where she is accepted and allowed to try again!
The soothing rhythm of Schu’s prose makes this a stand-out for read-a-loud storytime. Jamison’s delightful, fun, and multicolor artwork of the school—the students, teachers, and staff run the spectrum of ethnicity and abilities—will entrance readers as they pore over the pages.
This Is a School is an excellent choice for library readings, the first day of school, or for a parent getting their young child ready to start a new year. Highly Recommended!
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About the Author
John Schu has made a career out of advocating for the people and things he cares about most: kids, books, and the people that connect them. John is a children’s book author, a part-time lecturer at Rutgers University, and the children’s librarian for Bookelicious.
About the Author
Veronica Miller Jamison is an illustrator whose clients include Essence Magazine, Bloomingdales, and Hallmark. A Computer Called Katherine is her debut picture book. She is an alumna of Howard University and Drexel University, and she lives outside Philadelphia.
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