“Katz’s rhythms and rhymes are spot-on, and she tackles the tough letters with aplomb.”
Anthropomorphized bears lead readers on a rhyming ABC tour through some typical
school-day sights and activities. “Alphabet from A to Z, // Books that are just right for me. / Crayons for coloring, in my hand, /Dump trucks, playing in the sand.” The featured letter is highlighted in a color so readers can pick it out from the otherwise black type. Katz’s rhythms and rhymes are spot-on, and she tackles the tough letters with aplomb: “imagination,” “quacks” (during a game of duck, duck, goose), “upstairs,” “xylophones” (kindergarten being one of the only places these instruments are commonplace), and “zipping” up backpacks. From food and special classes to playing and getting along with friends, it’s all here, even a “Visit to the potty, proud.” Munsinger’s watercolors show a classroom full of adorable bears working hard at whatever they are doing, whether that’s using glitter and glue, trying to jump rope, or tracing letters. With few exceptions, though, their faces all show similar expressions of happiness, which doesn’t reflect the reality of a kindergarten classroom full of diverse personalities. Deborah Lee Rose’s The Twelve Days of Kindergarten (2003), illustrated by Carey Armstrong-Ellis, does a much better job of that and mixes in humor as well. A fun-to-read-aloud introduction to kindergarten, if not the top of the heap.