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The Schoolies Series | Book Reviews

The Children’s Book Review | November 17, 2014

Two excellent installments from the Schoolies series, combining vibrant drawings and lessons on navigating school life. Both books present a range of recurring characters in the Schoolies family, from twin ladybugs Lydia and Leeza, to Spencer the Owl.

My First Day of School SchooliesMy First Day Of School

By Sarah Powell, Barbi Sido, and Natalie Boyd; Based on characters created by Ellen Crimi-Trent

Age Range: 3-7

Paperback: 28 Pages

Publisher: Priddy Books (June 11, 2013)

What to expect: School, Reassurance, Animals

In My First Day Of School, it is Spencer who is starting his first day. He is understandably nervous, so much so that he does not really want to go to school at all. After consulting with his mother, and his older brother Colby, about what he can expect to find at school, Spencer boards the bus and is relieved to see that there are others there who are, like him, nervous and excited about starting school. We follow Spencer throughout his day, where he meets Mrs. Meow, his teacher, enjoys lessons in counting and his ABCs, and has lunch in the cafeteria. He even makes friends with a squirrel, named Zippy, who races around the playground on his scooter – Spencer, in roller skates, excitedly follows. By day’s end, Spencer is sad that the day has gone by so quickly, and when he returns home his new apprehensiveness is that the school day has come to a close. He is very happy to learn that he will get to go back again tomorrow.

Add this book to your collection: My First Day Of School

Schoolies: Making Friends By Ellen Crimi-Trent, Roger PriddyMaking Friends

By Sarah Powell, Barbi Sido, Katherine Radcliffe, and Natalie Boyd; Based on characters created by Ellen Crimi-Trent

Age Range: 3-7

Paperback: 28 Pages

Publisher: Priddy Books (June 11, 2013)

What to expect: Animals, Overcoming Shyness, School setting

In Making Friends, we meet to twin lady bugs—Leeza, and Lydia. Leeza is a loud and outgoing Schoolie, while Lydia is shy. It just so happens to be Friendship Week, a time at school when the Schoolies are learning about what it means to be a good friend. Throughout the day, students are encouraged to place notes in a Friendship Jar, to acknowledge other students who have behaved like a good friend. Lydia is immediately certain that none of these notes will be about her, since she is too shy to make friends. She can barely even whisper when she speaks to others, a fact the book interestingly renders with a small, faint font capturing her words whenever she speaks. However, as the day progresses, her kindness shows—she shares her lunch with Spencer, helps Zippy when he falls off his scooter, and gives Hayden help on the drums. Her confidence grows (and even the font rendering her voice darkens, as she learns to speak less shyly to others). At the end of the day Lydia is surprised and happy to see that the Friendship Jar is full of notes praising her kindness.

Add this book to your collection:  Making Friends

The Schoolies series books were reviewed by Trevor Laurence Jockims. Follow along with our Picture Books category and articles tagged with “Friendship Books” and “School” to discover more great books for sharing with your kids.

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Trevor Laurence Jockims lives in New York City with his wife and daughter. He has reviewed books for The Times Literary Supplement, Book Forum, The Believer, and elsewhere. He completed a PhD in Comparative Literature, and teaches writing at New York University.

Comments
  • I have a little grandchild who is very nervous about school…even after these first couple months. Looking to get him some reads like Schoolies for after the break to help him ease back into school. I found Whiny Whiny Rhino by McBoop, whinyrhino.com for the book site. It looks like a good one, apprehension is a hard thing for the littles, hopefully these books can help!

    November 19, 2014

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