A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Though they are animal caricatures, characters are helpful, friendly, and supportive.
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.
Is It Any Good?
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!
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate