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Joseph Slate, a native West Virginian, has always loved to paint and write. "I majored in journalism at the University of Washington in Seattle, worked as a reporter on The Seattle Times, was an editor for Foreign Broadcast Information Service (Washington, D.C., California, and Tokyo), then took a degree in fine arts at Yale, although I never illustrated my own books. My painting took a direction that was at odds with the fine art of illustration." Ashley Wolff is a children's book author and illustrator in San Francisco, CA. She has created over 40 books.
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. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)
PreS-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.‘Virginia Opocensky, formerly at Lincoln City Libraries, NE