Monday, July 29, 2019

Back to School! Ready Or Not, Woolbur Goes to School! by Leslie Helakoski

It's the first day of school, and little Woolbur is up for it!

"I can dress myself and fix my wool!"

"No one else will look like you," said Maa.

"Your wool is a little unusual," said Paa.

"I know," said Woolbur.

"Isn't it great?"

With his wool in something like wild dreadlocks, Woolbur is more than ready to take on Barnyard Elementary. His confidence is overwhelming. When the other piglets and puppies and little llamas struggle to to paint houses and snowmen, Woolbur's painting is clearly avant garde abstractionist.
"We can't tell if it's upside down or right side up," said Dog.

"I know," said Woolbur.

"Isn't it great?"

When it's time to wash up after art, Llama laments that there are so many of them at the sink. Woolbur replies that that's great! Goat grouches that grass tastes different in the school cafeteria. Woolbur agrees and adds that that's great. Donkey does not like the noisy new games on the playground. Pig objects to riding the bus home.
"It's filled with kids I don't know," said Pig.

I know," said Woolbur.

"Isn't it great?"

With the exception of James Dean's Pete the Cat's Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes, most well-known back-to-school stories deal with fears of the unknown, but in Leslie Helakoski's Ready or Not, Woolbur Goes to School! (Harper, 2018), her popular woolly character is an unusual first-time student who immediately embraces the newness of everything there.

Woolbur is a far-from-sheepish little lamb who loves novelty, a gung-ho little character who humorously flips the trope of the fearful school newbie and whose ebullient style gives youngsters an appreciation of the positive side of new experiences. As Pete the Cat would say, "It's all good!" Helakoski's use of Woolbur's repeated take on the unexpected will bring some laughs, and noted artist Lee Harper milks Woolbur's enthusiastic embrace of everything for all it's worth in her vibrant, full-bleed illustrations. "In a long list of appealing back-to-school books, this one really makes the grade," puns School Library Journal.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home