Preschool Day Hooray!

Preschool Day Hooray! by Linda Leopold Strauss, illustrated by Hiroe Nakata

This friendly, bouncy book offers a glimpse at a preschool day that is perfect for children heading to preschool for the first time.  The book follows the course of a day in preschool.  It begins at the breakfast table, moves through arrival and drop off, crafts and playground play, snack and naptime, dancing and toys, to parents picking up the children.  Strauss’ verse is just right for small children with a happy cadence that is easy to read aloud. 

Nakata’s illustrations add to the friendly appeal of the book with their rosy-cheeked children who are often doing their own thing rather than acting as a group.  The illustrations are very child-focused and reveal the mess and exploration of preschool. 

My only issue in the book, which is filled with children of different colors, is that at the end of the book only Mommy is mentioned as picking children up after school even though the illustrations also show a father.  I’d rather have had Mommy changed to parents in the verse to show that Daddy is just as involved.

A very positive view of preschool, get this into the hands of new preschoolers!  It is printed on heavy pages with a sturdy binding, ideal for little eager hands.  Appropriate for ages 1-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Scholastic.

How Does a Seed Grow?

How Does a Seed Grow? by Sue Kim, photographs by Tilde

A visually interesting book all about seeds, sprouts and the harvest.  Each page is dedicated to one kind of seed complete with photographs of the seeds.  That then unfolds to show a large photograph of the seedling in a cutaway format that shows below the ground to the roots and up above the ground for the leaves.  Readers then unfold the page one more time to see a photograph of a child holding the fruit or vegetable.  The text is very simple and rhyming.  The illustrations are the heart of this book.  It is a book guaranteed to fascinate children not only with the unfolding pages but with the details of the seeds and seedlings.

The book covers tomatoes, blueberries, bell peppers, peas and oranges.  The brief rhymes do give a sense of the needs of plants from loose dirt to warmth to water and sunshine.  Readers will enjoy looking at the differences in the shapes and sizes of the seeds and the different ways that the seeds grow.  The children pictured with the fruits and vegetables are multicultural.  One quibble is that some of the pictures are a little blurred, which is noticeable when compared with the crispness of the other images. 

This book will work well in a classroom setting or in a story time focused on spring and plants.  The foldout pages will not survive circulation at a library for long unless they are reinforced with tape.  Appropriate for ages 2-5.

Reviewed from copy received from Simon & Schuster.