It is Ming’s first day of preschool. She says hello to new classmates and goodbye to her father. She does show-and-tell and builds sand castles. But she isn’t quite ready for the big red slide. In winter, she makes snow angels. Rests inside in the warmth and has tea parties. In spring she finds worms in puddles and makes flowers for the windows. Finally, it is the end of school. And just then, Ming realizes that she is ready for the big slide after all.
There is a lovely sense of time passing in this book, of seasonality without that being the main focus of the story. Ming herself doesn’t struggle to fit in with her classmates at all. Instead the focus is on what happens in a preschool classroom as the seasons pass and meanwhile the red slide waits, showing up occasionally throughout the book and just being there until Ming herself is ready. There is no sense of pressure for Ming to use the slide and no feeling of anxiety about it either. It is just there and ready to be conquered whenever Ming herself feels up to it.
The illustrations make this book exceptional. Painted with a softness and filled with light, the illustrations are simply gorgeous. They portray the warmth and friendliness of a preschool class, somehow exuding the feel of safety and kindness as well. They are bright yet subdued too and calming.
A lovely book for a child heading to preschool for the first time, this picture book will show there are slides that can wait to be climbed until the time is right. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from library copy.