Butterflies on the First Day of School by Annie Silvestro; illustrated by Dream Chen. 2019. Published by Sterling Children’s Books.
Brief summary: Rosie excitedly prepares for the first day of school. When the day arrives, she has a stomachache and tells her parents that maybe she should stay home. “”You must have butterflies in your belly,” said her mother, hugging her tight”. The bus pulls up and Rosie sits next to a girl named Violet. A butterfly comes out of Rosie’s mouth as they make friends. As Rosie goes through her day and keeps getting a random bellyache, butterflies comes out when she shares or plays.
At recess, Rosie kindly goes over to Isabella who is rubbing her stomach now and asks if the girl would like to play. A few butterflies come out of Isabella’s mouth. Upon coming home, Rosie shares her first day with her mother and a last butterfly flies from her mother this time.
Comments: End pages have large flowers in the front and large butterflies in the back. I always love when the ends are decorated with anything but those stark white pages.
I would share this with an anxious first day student in primary school. Great book for a school counselor to have on hand too.
Early Sunday Morning by Denene Millner; illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. 2017. Published by Agate Bolden This is the first of a new series by Denene Millner.
Brief Summary: June enjoys going to church every Sunday with her family but is a little nervous for the coming Sunday, as she will sing her first solo with the youth choir. Throughout the week, several people give her advice of how not to be scared. The day has come, and her mother and younger brother, Troy, get all dressed up in their finest clothes. Daddy worked an extra shift at work and will need to rest at home. June goes to Sunday school and learns about love. She puts on her white robe afterwards and is ready to sing in the children’s choir. She waits while Pastor Scott leads prayers and when it will be her turn to do her solo. Although she is nervous, June takes a deep breath and focuses on one spot in the back of the room. At that time, her father opens the church’s doors and shouts, “Sing, Baby.” June is able to sing in front of the congregation with her father beside her.
Comments: We often do not see many religious based books in elementary school libraries even though a child’s religion plays an enormous role in his/her life. This book captures how important church is in June’s life. I think while we are talking about making sure our libraries are diverse, it is important to expose students to different religions in their community to better understand and appreciate each other. This book also teaches how, although we may be afraid at times, we must move on and conquer that fear. June had the love of her father(who must have been exhausted from doing a double shift the day before) who gave up his rest to be there for his child.
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