4 out of 4 stars
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Whether you're five, fifty, or a hundred and five years old, change can be a scary thing. One of the first scary changes children face is their first day of school, although it may be as scary for the parents as it is for the kid! Being apart from his or her parents for so long, potentially for the very first time, all while being in a room full of strangers while having to behave and even learn can be a very scary concept no matter how prepared they might be.
This scary moment is exactly what My First Day at School was written for. Cindy B. Sinanan's children's picture book is all about her own daughter Stacey's first day of school, but it certainly applies to anyone. From waking up in the morning and brushing her teeth through coming home, telling her mom about her day and then going to sleep, this book tells it all in a very positive, upbeat way. That's not to say that she isn't nervous, but she quickly finds out that she had no reason to be and enjoys herself.
My First Day at School is only available in a hardcover physical book, and it's a high quality book at that. The book measures 11.1"x8.7", making it slightly bigger than a typical piece of paper. The pages are nice and thick, meaning that you'll have no problem getting multiple reads out of it. Because of the size of the pages it's very easy to hold open and show off the pictures while reading, which is made even easier by the layout. The words are on the left page of each pair inside a colorful border with varying details around them, and the full-page images are on the right page of each pair. The words are big enough that you could read them from a great distance (across a couch at the very least), with a thick, bold, crayon-styled font.
The writing in the book is told through rhymes, although it's one of those rare rhyming books where none of the rhymes felt forced. Cindy also managed to stick to words that children should have no problem understanding. In fact, if you were to read this book to your child for a few days or weeks before their first day of school, it can also be used later on as an early reader book. "Exciting" and "wonderful" are the hardest words I saw in here.
As for the art, it's a little wacky, but that makes it unique. I'll admit that when I first opened the book and saw one of the last images I thought it was really creepy, but once I started from the beginning it was much better. The art has an impressionistic artwork with actual bits of photos pasted onto them, such as an animal or human faces. This creates a rather unique style that's slightly jarring at first glance, but ends up rather cute overall.
My First Day at School is a book that fits a very specific niche, but it does it in an adorable way. The book is high quality physically, and the writing, artwork, and editing were all top-notch: I didn't see any errors whatsoever. It's a terrific way to help ease children into their first day at school, and I can easily recommend it for that situation. My rating is 4 out of 4 stars.
My first day at school
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