A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that We Don't Eat Our Classmates, by author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins, is a fun and silly start-of-school story that through a cute little T-Rex named Penelope gets at the fear and anxiety of kids can feel in a new situation, wanting to make friends, gaining empathy, and learning how to stick to rules that keep everyone safe. It makes these points with humor and adorable cartoon characters. Penelope does eat some of her fellow students but quickly spits them out after her teacher insists, "We don't eat our classmates."
What's the story?
It's Penelope's first day of school, and after she gobbles up some fellow students, her teacher tells her, WE DON'T EAT OUR CLASSMATES. She quickly spits them out, and they're fine, if wet from slobber. She goes home and tells her dad she's sad because she didn't make any friends. He tells her sometimes it's hard to make friends. "Especially if you eat them." The next day she tries and slips up, eating and spitting out a kid again. It's only after she gets chomped on the finger by the classroom goldfish that she realizes it's no fun to fear a classmate will devour you.
Is it any good?
This funny story about a T-Rex in a class full of human kids shows how tough it can be to fit in, behave well, and make friends at the start of school. We Don't Eat Our Classmates is cute and silly and engaging as it teaches important lessons about empathy, getting along, and following the rules.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how hard is it is for Penelope to resist eating the kids in We Don't Eat Our Classmates because, she says, "they're delicious." Have you ever had to resist eating something yummy? How did you do it?
Have you had a first day of school? What do you remember about that day?
Is it hard or easy for you to make friends in new situations?
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