E Pluribus Unum! The Class by Boni Ashburn
SOME ARE EAGER, UP SINCE DAWN.
THREE JUST SIT AND YAWN AND YAWN.
It's the first day of Kindergarten, and all over the school district, twenty kids in nineteen different houses are getting up (or not!) to get ready for school.
FIVE BEGIN TO LOOK ALIVE.
ONE'S SURE HE WON'T SURVIVE!
Some breakfast heartily on pancakes, some with butterflies in their tummies can barely swallow a bite. Some have their first-day outfits at the ready. Some can't even find socks that match. Some have new shoes, shiny and stiff. Some have "the old shoe blues." Some have ribbons in their hair and others still have bed-head tangles.
FIVE PULL ON THEIR FAVORITE JEANS.
TWO ARE FASHIONISTA QUEENS.
And then by the big yellow bus, by family cars, and car pools in vans, and even trudging down the block, all the different kids converge on the school, where all ages crowd in through those open doors to begin again:
THROUGH THE DOORS THAT ALL MUST PASS....AND THEN..... WELCOME STUDENTS TO OUR CLASS!
Out of many... one!
Twenty different kids, all different in their different ways, meet their teacher, ready to start the job of making them into one class, in Boni Ashburn's back-to-school look at how one classroom worth of kids start to school, The Class (Beach Lane Books, 2016).
Author Ashburn has a wonderful way with rhyming couplets, portraying all the rituals, routines, and snafus of that first morning of school, as well as with honesty and humor the myriad of emotions that first-time Kindergartners must feel as they face that first day. The delightfully detailed artwork by Kimberly Gee gives each distinct child his or her own personality, style, and body language which together make clear the excitement, the anxieties, and the promise of starting school, and subtly reveals the task that that one teacher faces in bringing all that diversity together into a group that can support each other and learn through that all-important first year. It takes all kinds to make a world and a class, and each youngster who shares this book can see himself or herself in one or more of these rising Kindergartners.
As Publishers Weekly says, "the book’s biggest strength is its subtle recognition of difference: even though these kids are all headed to the same place, their individual family situations, moods, and interests all play roles in bringing them there."