________________ CM . . . . Volume XXII Number 1. . . .September 4, 2015


Ready, Set, Kindergarten!

Paula Ayer, Art by Danielle Arbour.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2015.
24 pp., trade pbk., hc., epub & pdf, $8.95 (pbk.), $19.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55451-703-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-55451-704-6 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-55451-705-3 (epub), ISBN 978-1-55451-706-0 (pdf).

Preschool-kindergarten / Ages 3-5.

Review by Linda Ludke.

*** /4



Setting the table.

Counting out plates.

Needing some help.

I’m ready to ask.


Everyday moments provide plenty of opportunities for learning in this picture book about starting school. A little girl proudly enumerates accomplishments, from getting dressed in the morning to brushing her teeth before bed. On a neighbourhood walk with her mother, she calls out letters and words that she spies on shop windows and street signs. Her little hands develop fine motor skills by cutting out paper shapes and painting pictures. Full of vim and vigour, the child jumps and twirls outside in the sunshine. At the beach, her imaginative play turns a bucket of sand into a three-layer cake. Emotional development milestones, like learning how to share toys with friends, are also depicted. When the first day of kindergarten finally arrives, the bright-eyed new student eagerly says, “I think I’m ready!”

     Danielle Arbour’s colourful and cheery cartoon illustrations capture realistic settings and situations with which preschoolers will identify, like needing a helping hand to reach glasses on a kitchen shelf and hosting a pretend tea-party for stuffed animal companions. Children will enjoy spotting the family’s rotund pet cat and the little girl’s toy mouse in all of the background details.

      Written with emerging readers in mind, the simple text is clearly written, and key words in each sentence are highlighted in bold. The placement of the sentences also visually enhances meaning; for instance, “Jumping and twirling” energetically swirls down the page.

      Ready, Set, Kindergarten! is a charming snapshot of a child ready to learn.


Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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