Off to First Grade

Common Sense Media says

Kids from A to Z get ready for first grade fun.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Though they are animal caricatures, characters are helpful, friendly, and supportive.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the alphabetic sequence, clever names, and simple poetic format make this book fun. Coupled with the playful images, it presents a positive message that kids, especially new first graders, will enjoy.

Parents say

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Kids say

What's the story?

Presented alphabetically, 23 different kids, as well as their teacher Mrs. Miller, the principal Mr. Zimmerman, and even the bus driver Xavier, share thoughts, worries, and plans as they get ready for the first day of first grade. Some are excited, others worried, and others are just taking it in stride.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

At first glance, with its anthropomorphic animals, each lightly outlined and filled with sensitive watercolor, OFF TO FIRST GRADE easily could be a Richard Scarry book. The characters are friendly looking animal caricatures -- dogs, cats, lions, rabbits, etc. -- all fully clothed and driving cars, playing instruments, and going to school. Kids will be drawn in by the playfulness of the illustrations as well as by the clever names of the students and their heartfelt stories.

More than a story, this is a chronicle of thoughts, including those of the teacher, the principal, and the bus driver as they each get ready. Beginning with Anna (for A), who is excitedly marking her calendar and counting the days; to Ignacio (for I), a new immigrant to America who hopes to learn English; to Whit and Yoshi, who are more than a little worried and concerned, all characters have something different on their minds. Told in simple language formatted in poetic stanzas that are artfully placed around the captivating illustrations, this imaginative book offers something for all readers, especially those who are soon off to the first grade and feeling a little uncertain. Kids will love it!

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the first grade of course: expectations and adventures, both in the book and in their real lives. What does each of the characters think Mrs. Miller's class is going to be like? Which student is most like you? Or do you expect other things in the first grade? What do you think the kids, and your teacher, are doing to get ready for the first day?

Book details

Author:Louise Borden
Illustrator:Joan Rankin
Genre:School
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Margaret K. McElderry
Publication date:July 1, 2008
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7
Read aloud:4
Read alone:7

This review of Off to First Grade was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 10 years old April 5, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

you have to read it

i think it rocks

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