Miss B Gets Ready

On the first day of kindergarten, Miss Bindergarten must prepare her classroom for her beloved students. This noble, whimsical teacher greets her dark, summertime-empty classroom with an explosion of color–a bouquet of fall leaves, a goldfish, rolled-up posters, and shoeboxes full of no-doubt-delightful surprises. Meanwhile, her young students get ready, too: “Adam Krupp wakes up. Brenda Heath brushes her teeth. Christopher Beaker finds his sneaker.” Author Joseph Slate matches each animal character with a letter of the alphabet, and readers can flip to the back to discover that Adam is an alligator, Brenda is a beaver, and Christopher is a cat–and so on, through the more obscure animals such as the quokka and the Uakari monkey. Youngsters will relish the scenes of school preparation, adorned by rhyming text: a mother iguana dragging her son Ian Lowe (who cries “I won’t go!”) out the front door, and the little vole Vicki Densel biting her pencil. And of course Miss Bindergarten is the kindergarten teacher we either remember fondly or wish we had. The final back-to-school classroom scene explodes with love and pride and the smell of freshly sharpened pencils.

Any child made anxious by the first day of kindergarten should find great comfort in this book’s two parallel stories: 26 young animals, from an alligator named Adam to a zebra named Zach, get ready for their first day of school, while a teacher named Miss Bindergarten is hard at work preparing herself and her classroom for their arrival.
Wolff and Slate (previously teamed in Who Is Coming to Our House?) boost the confidence of their audience by showing that Miss Bindergarten, a gentle-looking black-and-white dog in a green dress, is slightly more harried in her preparations than her students. Except for a genuinely reluctant iguana named Ian, who is dragged crying from the door of his house by his mother, the kindergarteners appear not only self-reliant but eager. Slate’s text has a comforting, familiar rhythm (“Brenda Heath brushes her teeth/ Christopher Beaker finds his sneaker”), while Wolff’s richly colored, busy illustrations display a keen and sympathetic eye for children’s dress and behavior. The book concludes with a winning set of class portraits, each of Miss Bindergarten’s pupils (except poor Ian) grinning into the “camera,” the picture of self-assurance.
~Publishers Weekly

PreSchool-K?As Miss Bindergarten, a black-and-white dog in teacher’s clothing, prepares herself and the classroom for her new students, the children are also preparing for their first day at school. In alphabetical order, each of the 26 kindergartners is introduced through cleverly rhymed text with intermittent scenes of the classroom being transformed by the creative instructor. Watercolor and gouache illustrations are bright, expressive, and filled with humorous details. On the final page individual pictures of the class are displayed from Adam the alligator, Quentin the quokka, and Vicki the vole to Zach the zebra. A super animal-alphabet book with a clever twist.
~School Library Journal

It’s the first morning of school, and as Miss Bindergarten arrives (early) to unpack the boxes, decorate the walls, and ready the kindergarten room for her new class, each of the new students prepares for the day as well. Alternating pages focus on the children and their teacher. The animal characters are introduced alphabetically as they make their way to school: “Adam Krupp wakes up. / Brenda Heath brushes her teeth. Christopher Beaker finds his sneaker. / Miss Bindergarten gets ready for kindergarten.” If children realize that Adam is an alligator, Brenda a beaver, and Christopher a cat, so much the better, but the alphabetical learning will probably interest them less (the first time through, at least) than the activities leading to the first morning of school. Gwen McGunny packs her bunny, Henry Fetter fights his sweater, and Lennie Loom is vrooming to school in his wheelchair, a sight rarely seen in picture books. The bright ink-and-watercolor-wash illustrations fill every spread with details, some amusing, some touching, but all right on the money, that will absorb young children. With its catchy rhythm and lively illustrations, this picture book seems sure to entertain the kindergarten crowd as well as those looking forward to the experience.
An inviting look at the first day of school in Miss Bindergarten’s class. The simple rhyming text tells how the animal children get ready for the big event; as a bonus, the names of the students are listed alphabetically, each first letter corresponding to its animal type (Jessie is a jaguar, Zach is a zebra, etc.):`Gwen McGunny/packs her bunny./Henry Fetter/fights his sweater.” The procession is interspersed with the preparations of Miss Bindergarten, aided by her pet cockatoo, in her classroom. Wolff’s fine illustrations add texture to a fairly simple concept. The teacher is depicted as an efficient sheepdog; eager and organized, she tapes notes on her furniture reminding her to `have fun,” yet forgets to take the price tag off her dress. The use of extinct animals for the more obscure letters only adds to the fun. In this soothing introduction to an anxiety-filled event.
~Kirkus Reviews
In Joseph Slate’s Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten, younger readers get to see the other side of a teacher’s life…. Multifaceted and appealing, this book can be enjoyed in many ways, at home and at school. The vivid watercolor illustrations by Ashley Wolff are attractive and filled with additional details.
~The New York Times Book Review

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