Monday, August 7, 2017

Review: Don't Go To School by Máire Zepf


DON'T GO TO SCHOOL!
Illustrated by Tarsila Kruse
Sterling Children's Books
Picture Book
ages 4+
40 pages


Benno is really excited about his first day at school. But there’s one problem: MOMMY! 
A laugh-out-loud twist on a familiar theme.

What can a little bear do when he’s all ready for his first day of school—but his mother isn’t? “DON”T GO TO SCHOOL!” she wails. “STAY HERE WITH ME!” Mommy sulks, she’s shy, she even throws a tantrum. Can Benno convince her that everything’s okay? He comes up with an ingenious idea to help her adjust—one that many a mom and dad will recognize. This humorous story will reassure and delight nervous children, while parents feeling a little sad to see their babies grow up and march off to school will empathize with Mom!



 MY TIDBITS

This tale flip-flops those back to school blues with humorous but heartwarming style.

It's time to go back to school, but this time, it's not the one headed for the classroom which is nervous. Mommy wants Benno to stay at home, and she's going to sulk and whine and follow him the entire way to school. Benno knows it's hard on Mommy, but still, he needs to go. So he has a plan to help her let go and easy her worries at the same time.

When the Mommy breaks out with the first childish whine, the roll switch hits hard and puts an immediate smirk on young listeners' faces. Mommy's do not act like that, which is exactly what makes this book cute and funny. Her persistence is impressive as she puts up the act the small Benno should be having. But he, on the other hands, is extremely mature about the entire thing. Kids will empathize immediately as they can slip into both shoes, and find the switch funny.

The illustrations are simple and let the characters stay at the middle of the attention. The colors are a little darker than usual, which makes them a little more difficult to see in darker lighting. There are small details thrown in here and there, so kids will discover something new every time they flip through the pages.

The writing is simple, sweet and packs all the punch it has to. The minimum text keeps the story from bogging down and lets the plot pull itself through. Benno keeps attention as a smart, cute bear, and there's so much love by the end that it demands a hug.

It's a cute read for those kids headed off to school for the first time, and for the parents as well.


And here they are. . .

The author. . . Máire Zepf

Her debut children's novel, the time-travelling thriller Tubaiste Ar An Titanic (Clo Mhaigh Eo, 2012), was short-listed for Gradam Reics Carlo, the Irish-langauge children's book of the year award. Don't Go to School! is her first picture book. She lives in County Down in Ireland.


The Illustrator. . . Tarsila Krüse

is a Dublin-based illustrator whose work is character forcused and influenced by everyday relationships with a whimsical and heartwarming touch. Her art has been featured in magazines, advertising, posters, exhibitions and fanzines. 

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