With Summer Reading over I’ve been working on the Back to School display, which is good because requests will start to pour in for books to help kids who are starting school. Starting school is one of those perennial topics, like books on going to the doctor, getting a new sibling, and potty training. Like those topics, books on this subject straddle the line between fiction and non-fiction. Since I have nothing to do with the cataloging decisions at my library, I like to distinguish these books based on whether they tell a story or list information.
Recently, I received an e-arc of an informational picture book on going back to school. Back to School Rules by Laurie Friedman. In this short picture book, a young boy lists rules for school success, such as:
That means no naps in class.
No running through the halls.
No climbing up the flagpole.
No writing on the walls.
For the most part, these rules are actual things kids need to know in order to behave properly in school. Sometimes they go over the top like not hanging from the ceiling, but for the most part they cover typical situations.
My biggest question with this book is audience. Kids starting school for the first time would be overwhelmed and many of the rules don’t necessarily apply, as pre-school and Kindergarteners can and do Moo frequently. Also they don’t understand what contradict means–I’m not sure even second graders know what that means.
I think if the author had been a little more funny, a little less informational, and a little less preachy this book could have been a hit for the 1st to 2nd grade crowd.