Friday, February 19, 2010
First Day: Appleville Elementary Series #1 by Nancy Krulik
North Winds Press
ISBN 0-439-96786-4 HC
Published June 1, 2009
Softcover, 64 pages
Ages 5 to 8
It’s the first day of first grade at Appleville Elementary, and the kids who are going to be in Miss Popper’s class are really excited. Well, everyone except Carlos, that is! He’d rather stay in kindergarten. Carlos decides he’ll go to first grade for one day only, and he’ll never come back. But when Miss Popper reveals that someone new will be arriving on the second day of school, Carlos can’t help but return. Who will the new arrival be?
My 6 year-old boy liked this book, but my 8 year-old dughter thought it boring … and so did I. My boy said it taught him that if we don’t like something but we still give it a try, it could end up being fun or good, which was the message of the book. He also said that first grade at Appleville Elementary was more like daycare than real school because the kids just ran in the school instead of lining up. We all agreed the setting lacked the authority of a learning institution, which my kids are very familiar with now that they are in school. My daughter thought the teacher sounded like one of the kids.
Although this book is of the same reading level as the Junie B. Jones series and with the same school setting, it doesn’t compare in terms of dialogue, plot, setting, and character development. Too many characters were introduced in the first chapter so that we had to keep looking back to remember who was who. I was prepared to like this series but I think we’ll pass.
Disclosure: Thank you to Nikole from Scholastic Canada for sending us this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.