mom its my first day

Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten by Hyewon Yum

A little boy is all set for the first day of Kindergarten, eager to start.  His mother, on the other hand, is not quite to eager to see her little boy start school.  The boy runs to school with his mother trailing behind, worried and blue.  His mother frets about how big the school is, that they don’t know anyone there, but the boy is set to head in.  Then in the hall, things change and suddenly it is the boy who is smaller and bluer and more concerned and his mother is glowing and ready for him to start.  This book perfectly captures the mixed emotions of the first day of school for children and parents alike. 

Yum manages in a just a few words to really show the eagerness the boy feels and the reticence of the mother.  The boy is thrilled to be a big boy and head off to school, the mother is obviously seeing him a completely different light.  The book really comes into its own when the change happens and suddenly the mother feels confident and the boy is unsure.  It is that switch, that change that makes the entire book really work well.

Yum’s art also helps capture the emotions of the day.  At first, the boy is much larger than his mother, bright colored and dashing.  The mother is blue, almost wizened and delicate, worn away with worry.  When the change of attitude happens, the mother grows steadily in size and gains color as the boy shrinks to normal size and becomes bluer.  It’s a delight to watch the change come full circle by the end of the book where the day has ended and they are both large and bright.

A perfect pick for families facing their first day of Kindergarten this fall, this book will make a great jumping off place for discussions about the mixed emotions that everyone is sure to be feeling on the big day.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from copy received from Farrar Straus Giroux.