Do you have a little kiddo going to school for the first time in September? Are you a caregiver, teacher, or librarian looking for a book that describes elementary school in the words of a young student? Todd Parr's latest picture book, "The School Book", perfectly captures the day in the life of a young student in a way that little readers can understand. Simple, playful, and sweet...just a few words that come to mind after reading this to my boys. One of whom is starting kindergarten this year...eek!
Parr's illustrative style is bold, youthful, and radiant. Each character is a different shape, size, and colour - promoting inclusivity and diversity in a playful way. The characters are always beaming with smiles, and jump off the page with vibrant clothes and hairstyles. The illustrations resemble kid-like artwork that resonate with my little guys. I love the way Parr's illustrations speak to little readers on their level; I'm a big fan!
The story-telling is straight-forward and easy for a 3-5 year old to follow, with simple vocabulary throughout. Parr's writing successfully introduces little readers to all the wonderful things they can do at school, while showcasing that everyone is welcome. The story is told chronologically from the perspective of little students getting ready for school in the morning, participating in all the fun classroom activities, and returning home to talk all about it. Little readers can instantly imagine their first day of school.
My favourite page depicts the start of the school day, with the teacher's guidelines written on the chalkboard:
"It's okay to make mistakes. Be respectful. Be kind. Be who you are. It's okay to be different. Don't pick your nose!"
I really appreciate how "The School Book" presents the first day of school as seen through a child's eyes, as well as written in a relatable way for little readers. Parr's signature style exudes positivity, playfulness, and sensitivity. This is most evident as he closes with:
"There are lots of fun things to do at school. Always be kind. And don't pick your nose. The End. Love, Todd."
It is no surprise that Todd Parr is a New York Times Bestselling Author, with more than forty books to his credit. I highly recommend checking out Parr's other picture books. He tackles important issues in an easy-to-understand way for little readers. Some of these must-reads include, "Be Who You Are", "It's Okay to be Different", "The Goodbye Book", and "The Family Book."
For more on Todd Parr, check him out online: toddparr.com
My back-to-school picks continue next week. Until then...