Review Blog

Jan 11 2013

We love school illustrated by Lucie Billingsley

cover image

Hachette (Lothian) 2012. ISBN 9780734411570.
(Age: 4-6) Recommended. Picture book. School. Through a gaggle of dogs, the story is told of the first day at school. The routines are followed throughout the story, taking all young readers along with it. For the very young the experience of school and its routines is neatly outlined, allowing the child to assimilate all that happens in this place. The dogs allow a distance and give a comforting introduction to school procedures.
In rhyming couplets, the story develops as each animal prepares for school, unsure of what to expect. Once at school, they play with their own toys, paint some pictures, and then go out for a break, relieving themselves together except for one dog. They go for a walk, noticing all around them then take time out for lunch. Playtime ends with water play, then the dogs all settle down to sleep until they are picked up to go home with their art efforts for the day.
Each dog is given a different personality through the endearing illustrations. They are shown doing a range of activities which introduces the reader to the sorts of things to expect at school.
As a read aloud, or simply to look at by themselves, or as a classroom share book, this book has possibilities in lessening the anxieties of younger children hearing about school or about to start school.
Fran Knight

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