4 out of 4 stars
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I certainly don't remember what it was like going to school the first time, but it sure must be scary! I guess that's why there are plenty of books to choose from to help children make the transition, so kids can see school as something fun and exciting instead of being nervous. But with so many books to choose from, is Connie Goyette Crawley's Tilly and Torg - New Kids At School worth picking up?
I'll save you the suspense and just go ahead and answer that question now: absolutely. Tilly and Torg - New Kids At School is an adorable introduction to school, and it's done in a way I haven't seen before. Where most books show a child having a great day at school, Tilly and Torg - New Kids At School shows us two adorable monsters who get curious about the "big yellow box" that children get into every day. This allows the book to be silly while exploring many of the things that happen at school, like having lunch, sitting in a classroom, reading, and even recess. Of course, it's no spoiler that the pair of monsters had a terrific time, and readers will as well.
I really enjoyed the humor in the book. Sure I've heard the "why is 6 afraid of 7" joke a billion times by now, but it's very possible your children haven't. And hey, if they have, here's proof that you're not the only one who finds it funny! There are jokes for all sorts, from Tilly's desire for crunched bugs for lunch to Tilly's mistaking what "time for the bell" meant (Tilly thought the bell was a gift they'd be receiving!). I enjoyed every page of this short children's book, and it clearly shows school as a fun, enjoyable, approachable place. Tilly and Torg - New Kids At School ends with a list of "Power Words" from each chapter (like "everywhere" and "crunched") as well as an alphabetical "Word Wall". It helps that the book is also an example of good editing; I found no errors whatsoever.
The art of this book is excellent as well. The images - most of which are full-page - have a terrific painted-by-hand style to them. Tilly and Torg are both super cute and perfectly expressive. Seeing all of the schoolkids looking happy is a bonus as well!
This is the second book in the Tilly and Torg series, and after reading this one I'm very intrigued by the first book: Tilly and Torg: Out to Eat. Yeah, swapping from a colon to a dash for the title of the two books is a little wonky, but it's absolutely the only negative thing I can think of for this book. My rating of Tilly and Torg - New Kids At School is 4 out of 4 stars, and it's as easy as breathing to recommend it to parents with children heading to school for the first time. Unlike many books of this sort, I could also see it being fun for children who have recently started school, as their experience at school may allow them to see extra humor in Tilly and Torg's adventure.
Tilly and Torg - New Kids At School
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